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The Oxford Dictionary of New Words: A popular guide to words in the news PREFACE Preface This is the first dictionary entirely devoted to new words and meanings to have been published by the Oxford University Press. It follows in the tradition of the Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary in attempting to record the history of some recent additions to the language, but, unlike the Supplement, it is necessarily very selective in the words, phrases, and meanings whose stories it sets out to tell and it stands as an independent work, unrelated (except in the resources it draws upon) to the Oxford English Dictionary. The aim of the Oxford Dictionary of New Words is to provide an informative and readable guide to about two thousand high-profile words and phrases which have been in the news during the past decade; rather than simply defining these words (as dictionaries of new words have tended to do in the past), it also explains their derivation and the events which brought them to prominence, illustrated by examples of their use in journalism and fiction. In order to do this, it draws on the published and unpublished resources of the Oxford English Dictionary, the research that is routinely carried out in preparing new entries for that work, and the word-files and databases of the Oxford Dictionary Department. What is a new word? This, of course, is a question which can never be answered satisfactorily, any more than one can answer the question "How long is a piece of string?" It is a commonplace to point out that the language is a constantly changing resource, growing in some areas and shrinking in others from day to day. The best one can hope to do in a book of this kind is to take a snapshot of the words and senses which seem to characterize our age and which a reader in fifty or a hundred years' time might be unable to understand fully (even if these words were entered in standard dictionaries) without a more expansive explanation of their social, political, or cultural context. For the purposes of this dictionary, a new word is any word, phrase, or meaning that came into popular use in English or enjoyed a vogue during the eighties and early nineties. It is a book which therefore necessarily deals with passing fashions: most, although probably not all, of the words and senses defined here will eventually find their way into the complete history of the language provided by the Oxford English Dictionary, but many will not be entered in smaller dictionaries for some time to come, if at all.

It tends to be the case that "new" words turn out to be older than people expect them to be. This book is not limited to words and senses which entered the language for the first time during the eighties, nor even the seventies and eighties, because such a policy would mean excluding most of the words which ordinary speakers of English think of as new; instead, the deciding factor has been whether or not the general public was made aware of the word or sense during the eighties and early nineties. A few words included here actually entered the language as technical terms as long ago as the nineteenth century (for example, acid rain was first written about in the 1850s and the greenhouse effect was investigated in the late nineteenth century, although it may not have acquired this name until the 1920s); many computing terms date from the late 1950s or early 1960s in technical usage. It was only (in the first case) the surge of interest in environmental issues and the sudden fashion for "green" concerns and (in the second) the boom in home and personal computing touching the lives of large numbers of people that brought these words into everyday vocabulary during the eighties. There is, of course, a main core of words defined here which did only appear for the first time in the eighties. There are even a few which arose in the nineties, for which there is as yet insufficient evidence to say whether they are likely to survive. Some new-words dictionaries in the past have limited themselves to words and senses which have not yet been entered in general dictionaries. The words treated in the Oxford Dictionary of New Words do not all fall into this category, for the reasons outlined above. Approximately one-quarter of the main headwords here were included in the new words and senses added to the Oxford English Dictionary for its second edition in 1989; a small number of others were entered for the first time in the Concise Oxford Dictionary's eighth edition in 1990. The articles in this book relate to a wide range of different subject fields and spheres of interest, from environmentalism to rock music, politics to youth culture, technology to children's toys. Just as the subject coverage is inclusive, treating weighty and superficial topics as even-handedly as possible, so the coverage of different registers, or levels of use, of the language is intended to give equal weight to the formal, the informal, and examples of slang and colloquialism. This results in a higher proportion of informal and slang usage than would be found in a general dictionary, reflecting amongst other things the way in which awareness of register seems to be disappearing as writers increasingly use slang expressions in print without inverted commas or any

other indication of their register. The only registers deliberately excluded are the highly literary or technical in cases where the vocabulary concerned had not gained any real popular exposure. Finally, a deliberate attempt was made to represent English as a world language, with new words and senses from US English accounting for a significant proportion of the entries, along with more occasional contributions from Australia, Canada, and other English-speaking countries. It is hoped that the resulting book will prove entertaining reading for English speakers of all ages and from all countries.

PREFACE.1 Acknowledgements

I am grateful to John Simpson and Edmund Weiner, Co-Editors of the Oxford English Dictionary, for their help and advice throughout the writing of this book, and in particular for their constructive comments on the first draft of the text; to OED New Words editors Edith Bonner, Peter Gilliver, Danuta Padley, Bernadette Paton, Judith Pearsall, Michael Proffitt, and Anthony Waddell, on whose draft entries for the OED I based much of what I have written here; to Peter Gilliver, Simon Hunt, Veronica Hurst, and Judith Pearsall for help with corrections and additions to the text; to Melinda Babcock, Nancy Balz, Julie Bowdler, George Chowdharay-Best, Melissa Conway, Margaret Davies, Margery Fee, Ken Feinstein, Daphne Gilbert-Carter, Dorothy Hanks, Sally Hinkle, Sarah Hutchinson, Rita Keckeissen, Adriana Orr, and Jeffery Triggs for quotation and library research; and, last but not least, to Trish Stableford for giving up evenings and weekends to do the proofreading. HOWTO How to Use this Dictionary This topic, with some modification, has been reproduced from the printed hard-copy version of this dictionary. Some display devices limit the effects of the highlighting techniques used in this book. You can see what your display device provides by looking at the following examples: This is an example of large bold type This is an example of italic type This is an example of bold type The entries in this dictionary are of two types: full entries and cross-reference entries.

HOWTO.1 Full entries

Full entries normally contain five sections: 1. Headword section The first paragraph of the entry, or headword section, gives ° the main headword in large bold type Where there are two different headwords which are spelt in the same way, or two distinct new meanings of the same word, these are distinguished by superior numbers after the headword. ° the part of speech, or grammatical category, of the word in italic type In this book, all the names of the parts of speech are written out in full. The ones used in the book are adjective, adverb, interjection, noun, pronoun, and verb There are also entries in this book for the word-forming elements (combining form, prefix, and suffix) and for abbreviations, which have abbreviation in the part-of-speech slot if they are pronounced letter by letter in speech (as is the case, for example, with BSE or PWA), but acronym if they are normally pronounced as words in their own right (Aids, NIMBY, PIN, etc.). When a new word or sense is used in more than one part of speech, the parts of speech are listed in the headword section of the entry and a separate definition section is given for each part of speech. ° other spellings of the headword (if any) follow the part of speech in bold type ° the subject area(s) to which the word relates are shown at the end of the headword section in parentheses (see "Subject Areas" in topic HOWTO.5). The subject areas are only intended to give a general guide to the field of use of a particular word or sense. In addition to the

subject area, the defining section of the entry often begins with further explanation of the headword's application. 2. Definition section The definition section explains the meaning of the word and sometimes contains information about its register (the level or type of language in which it is used) or its more specific application in a particular field; it may also include phrases and derived forms of the headword (in bold type) or references to other entries. References to other entries have been converted to hypertext links. 3. Etymology The third section of the entry begins a new paragraph and starts with the heading Etymology: This explains the origin and formation of the headword. Some words or phrases in this section may be in italic type, showing that they are the forms under discussion. Cross-references to other headwords in this book have been converted to hypertext links. 4. History and Usage The fourth section also begins a new paragraph and starts with the heading History and Usage. Here you will find a description of the circumstances under which the headword entered the language and came into popular use. In many cases this section also contains information about compounds and derived forms of the headword (as well as some other related terms), all listed in bold type, together with their definitions and histories. As elsewhere in the entry, cross-references to other headwords have been converted to hypertext links. 5. Illustrative quotations This final section of the entry begins a new paragraph and is indented approximately 5 character spaces from the left margin of the previous text line. These illustrative quotations are arranged in a single chronological sequence, even when they contain examples of a number of different forms. The illustrative quotations in this book do not include the earliest printed example in the Oxford Dictionaries word-file (as would be the case, for example, in the Oxford English Dictionary); instead, information about the date of the earliest quotations is given in the history and usage section of the entry and the illustrative quotations aim to give a representative sample of

recent quotations from a range of sources. The sources quoted in this book represent English as a world language, including quotations from the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, and other English-speaking countries. They are taken for the most part from works of fiction, newspapers, and popular magazines (avoiding wherever possible the more technical or academic sources in favour of the more popular and accessible). There are nearly two thousand quotations altogether, taken from five hundred different sources. HOWTO.2 Cross-reference entries

Because this book is designed to provide more information than the standard dictionary and to give an expansive account of the recent history of certain words and concepts, there is some grouping together of related pieces of information in a single article. This means that, in addition to the full entry, there is a need for cross-reference entries leading the reader from the normal alphabetical place of a word or phrase to the full entry in which it is discussed. Cross-reference entries are single-line entries containing only the headword (with a superior number if identical to some other headword), a subject area or areas to give some topical orientation, the word "see," and the headword under which the information can be found. For example:


see environmentally

A cross-reference entry is given only if there is a significant distance between the alphabetical places of the cross-referenced headword and the full entry in which it is mentioned. Thus the compounds and derived forms of a full headword are not given their own cross-reference entries because these would immediately follow the full entry; the same is true of the words which start with one of the common initial elements (such as eco- or Euro-) which have their own full entries listing many different formations in which they are used. On the other hand, the forms grouped together by their final element (for example, words ending in -friendly or -gate) are all entered as cross-reference entries in their normal alphabetical places. HOWTO.3 Alphabetical order

The full and cross-reference entries in this book are arranged in a single alphabetical sequence in letter-by-letter alphabetical order (that is, ignoring spaces, hyphens, and other punctuation which occurs within them). The following headwords, taken from the letter E, illustrate the point: E° Eý e° earcon eco ecoecobabble ecological ecu E-free EFTPOS enterprise culture enterprise zone E number HOWTO.4 Pronunciation Symbols

Pronunciation symbols which follow the headword in printed copy have been excluded from this soft-copy edition. In-line pronunciation symbols have been replaced with /--/. HOWTO.5 Subject Areas

The subject areas in parentheses at the end of the headword section of each entry indicate the broad subject field to which the headword relates. The subject areas used are: Drugs

words to do with drug use and abuse

Environment words to do with conservation, the environment, and green politics Business World words to do with work, commerce, finance, and marketing Health and Fitness

words to do with conventional and complementary medicine, personal fitness, exercise, and diet Lifestyle and Leisure words to do with homes and interiors, fashion, the media, entertainment, food and drink, and leisure activities in general Music

words to do with music of all kinds (combined with Youth Culture in entries concerned with pop and rock music)


words to do with political events and issues at home and abroad

People and Society words to do with social groupings and words for people with particular characteristics; social issues, education, and welfare Science and Technology words to do with any branch of science in the public eye; technical jargon that has entered the popular vocabulary War and Weaponry words to do with the arms race or armed conflicts that have been in the news Youth Culture words which have entered the general vocabulary through their use among young people CONTENTS Table of Contents

Title Page


Edition Notice Notices



Preface PREFACE Acknowledgements PREFACE.1 How to Use this Dictionary


Full entries HOWTO.1 Cross-reference entries HOWTO.2 Alphabetical order HOWTO.3 Pronunciation Symbols HOWTO.4 Subject Areas HOWTO.5 Table of Contents


A 1.0 AAA 1.1 abled... 1.2 ace... 1.3 Adam... 1.4 aerobics 1.5 affinity card... 1.6 ageism 1.7 AI... 1.8 Alar... 1.9 angel dust... 1.10 Aqua Libra... 1.11 arb... 1.12 asset 1.13 ATB... 1.14 audio-animatronics... aware... 1.16 Azeri... 1.17


B 2.0 babble... 2.1 beat box... 2.2 bhangra 2.3 bicycle moto-cross... 2.4 black economy... 2.5 BMX. 2.6 boardsailing... 2.7 brat pack... 2.8 BSE... 2.9 B two (B2) bomber 2.10 bubblehead... 2.11 bypass 2.12 C 3.0 cable television...


CD 3.2 Ceefax... 3.3 CFC 3.4 chair... 3.5 citizen-friendly 3.6 claimant... 3.7 cocooning... 3.8 crack... 3.9 CT 3.10 cursor... 3.11 cyberpunk... 3.12 D 4.0 dairy-free... 4.1 ... 4.2 ddI... 4.3 deafened... 4.4 diddy goth... 4.5 doc, docu-... 4.6 dramadoc... 4.7 DTP 4.8 dude... 4.9 DVI 4.10 dweeb 4.11 dynamize 4.12 E 5.0 E°... 5.1 earcon... 5.2 eco... 5.3 E-free... 5.4 EFTPOS... 5.5 EGA card 5.6 electro... 5.7 email... 5.8 enterprise culture... 5.9 EPOS 5.10 ERM 5.11 ESA 5.12 etext... 5.13 Euro... 5.14 Eve 5.15 exchange rate mechanism...


F 6.0 F 6.1 faction... 6.2 FF 6.3 FF 6.4 fibre... 6.5 flak... 6.6 fontware... 6.7 F-plan 6.8 free... 6.9 fudge and mudge...


G 7.0 gag me with a spoon... gel... 7.2 ghetto blaster 7.3 GIFT... 7.4 G-Jo 7.5 glam... 7.6 go... 7.7 graphic novel... 7.8 guestage... 7.9


H 8.0 hack... 8.1 headbanger... 8.2 hidden agenda... 8.3 HM 8.4 hog... 8.5 ... 8.6 HRT 8.7 HTLV, human immunodeficiency virus, human T-cell lymphocyte virus human shield... 8.9 hype... 8.10 I 9.0 ice... 9.1 IKBS 9.2 immune... 9.3 incendiary device... indie... 9.5 Iran-contra... 9.6



Italian house... IVF 9.8


J 10.0 jack... 10.1 jack... 10.2 job-sharing... 10.3 jukebox... 10.4 K 11.0 K 11.1 karaoke 11.2 keyboard... 11.3 kidflation... 11.4 krytron 11.5 L 12.0 lab... 12.1 LBO... 12.2 leaderene... 12.3 lifestyle... 12.4 LMS 12.5 lock... 12.6 LRINF 12.7 luggable... 12.8 Lyme disease... 12.9 M 13.0 McGuffin... 13.1 mad cow disease... 13.2 MBO 13.3 MDMA 13.4 ME... 13.5 microwave... 13.6 moi... 13.7 MRI... 13.8 muesli belt... 13.9 myalgic encephalomyelitis... N 14.0 nab... 14.1 neato... 14.2 nibble... 14.3


NMR... 14.4 no-alcohol beer... 14.5 non-ism... 14.6 nuclear device... 14.7 nyaff... 14.8 O 15.0 offender's tag... 15.1 oilflation... 15.2 oink... 15.3 on-and-on rap... 15.4 optical disc... 15.5 Oracle... 15.6 OTE... 15.7 out... 15.8 ozone... 15.9 P 16.0 package... 16.1 PC... 16.2 peace camp... 16.3 p-funk... 16.4 phencyclidine... 16.5 piece... 16.6 PLA, PLWA... 16.7 pneumocystis carinii pneumonia... poaching... 16.9 pre-Aids... 16.10 psychobabble... 16.11 puff-ball... 16.12 PWA... 16.13 Q 17.0 qinghaosu... 17.1 quaffable... 17.2 R 18.0 racquet abuse... 18.1 reader-friendly... 18.2 rhythmic gymnastics 18.3 right-to-life... 18.4 rock... 18.5 RPG 18.6




S 19.0 sab... 19.1 SBS 19.2 scratch... 19.3 SDI 19.4 SEAQ... 19.5 shareware... 19.6 sick building... 19.7 ska house... 19.8 ska house... 19.9 smart... 19.10 snuff 19.11 soca... 19.12 space shuttle, Space Transportation System... SRINF 19.14 Stalkergate... 19.15 sugar-free... 19.16 sweep... 19.17 T 20.0 tablet... 20.1 TBS 20.2 techno... 20.3 Thatcher... 20.4 tight building syndrome... TOE... 20.6 train surfing... 20.7 tubular... 20.8 tweak... 20.9 U 21.0 UDMH... 21.1 unban... 21.2 use-by date... 21.3 V 22.0 vaccine... 22.1 VCR 22.2 vegeburger... 22.3 video nasty... 22.4 Vodafone... 22.5



W 23.0 wack... 23.1 well safe... 23.2 wheat-free... 23.3 wicked... 23.4 wok... 23.5 wrinklie 23.6 WYSIWYG 23.7 X 24.0 XTC 24.1 Y 25.0 yah... 25.1 yo 25.2 yuppie... 25.3 Z 26.0 zap 26.1 zero 26.2 Zidovudine... 26.3 zouave... 26.4 Zuppie 26.5 zygote intra-fallopian transfer


1.0 A

1.1 AAA


(War and Weaponry) see triple A

1.2 abled...


adjective (People and Society) Able-bodied, not disabled. Also (especially with a preceding adverb): having a particular range of physical abilities; differently abled, otherly abled, uniquely abled: euphemistic

ways of saying 'disabled'. Etymology: Formed by removing the prefix dis- from disabled. History and Usage: The word abled arose in the US; it has been used by the disabled to refer to the able-bodied since about the beginning of the eighties, and is also now so used in the UK. The euphemistic phrases differently abled, otherly abled, and uniquely abled were coined in the mid eighties, again in the US, as part of an attempt to find a more positive official term than handicapped (the official term in the US) or disabled (the preferred term in the UK during the eighties). Another similarly euphemistic coinage intended to serve the same purpose was challenged. Differently abled has enjoyed some success in the US, but all of the forms with a preceding adverb have come in for considerable criticism. Disabled, handicapped, differently-abled, physically or mentally challenged, women with disabilities--this is more than a mere discourse in semantics and a matter of personal preference. Debra Connors in With the Power of Each Breath (1985), p. 92 In a valiant effort to find a kinder term than handicapped, the Democratic National Committee has coined differently abled. The committee itself shows signs of being differently abled in the use of English. Los Angeles Times 9 Apr. 1985, section 5, p. 1 I was aware of how truly frustrating it must be to be disabled, having to deal not only with your disability, but with abled people's utter disregard for your needs. San Francisco Chronicle 4 July 1990, Briefing section, p. 7 ableism noun Also written ablism (People and Society) Discrimination in favour of the able-bodied; the attitude or assumption that it is only necessary to cater for able-bodied

people. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ism (as in ageism, racism, and sexism) to the adjective able in the sense in which it is used in able-bodied. History and Usage: This is one of a long line of -isms which became popular in the eighties to describe various forms of perceived discrimination: see also fattism and heterosexism. Ableism was a term first used by feminists in the US at the beginning of the eighties; in the UK, the concept was first referred to as able-bodism in a GLC report in 1984 and was later also called able-bodiedism. However, ableism was the form chosen by the Council of the London borough of Haringey for a press release in 1986, and it is this form which has continued to be used, despite the fact that it is thought by some to be badly formed (the suffix -ism would normally be added to a noun stem rather than an adjective). The spelling ableism is preferred to ablism, which some people might be tempted to pronounce /--/. In practice, none of the forms has been widely used, although society's awareness of disability was raised during the International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981. The adjective corresponding to this noun is ableist, but its use is almost entirely limited to US feminist writing. For an adjective which describes the same characteristics from the opposite viewpoint, see disablist. A GLC report...referred throughout to a new phenomenon called mysteriously 'able-bodism'--a reference apparently to that malevolent majority, the fully-fit. Daily Telegraph 1 Nov. 1984, p. 18 Able-ist movements of the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries regarded disability as problematic for society. Debra Connors in With the Power of Each Breath (1985), p. 99 I was at the national convention of the National Organization for Women. I consider myself a feminist...but I'm...embarrassed by the hysteria, the

gaping maws in their reasoning and the tortuous twists of femspeak. Who else can crowd the terms 'ableism, homophobia and sexism' into one clause without heeding the shrillness of tone? San Francisco Chronicle 4 July 1990, section A, p. 19 ABS abuse

(Science and Technology) see anti-lock noun (Drugs) (People and Society) Illegal or excessive use of a drug; the misuse of any substance, especially for its stimulant effects. In the context of human relationships, physical (especially sexual) maltreatment of another person. Etymology: These are not so much new senses of the word as specializations of context; abuse has meant 'wrong or improper use, misapplication, perversion' since the sixteenth century, but in the second half of the twentieth century has been used so often in the two contexts mentioned above that this is becoming the dominant use. History and Usage: Abuse was first used in relation to drugs in the early sixties; by the seventies it was usual for it to be the second element in compounds such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and solvent abuse, and soon afterwards with a human object as the first word: see child abuse. Interestingly it is not idiomatic to form similar compounds for other types of abuse in its traditional sense: the abuse of power rather than 'power abuse', for example. This is one way in which the language continues to differentiate the traditional use from the more specialized one, although there have been some recent exceptions (a tennis player who throws his racquet about in anger or frustration can now be cautioned for racquet abuse, for example). This is a setback for the campaign against increasing heroin abuse among the young in all parts of the country. Sunday Times 9 Dec. 1984, p. 3

Just over 30 per cent of the girls questioned said they had tried solvent abuse. Daily Express 20 Aug. 1986, p. 2 Asked why she continued diagnosing abuse after three appeals from other agencies to stop because they could not cope, she replied: 'With hindsight, at the time we were trying to do our best for them. In the event, with some children, we were sadly unable to do that.' Guardian 14 July 1989, p. 2 1.3 ace...


adjective (Youth Culture) In young people's slang: great, fantastic, terrific. Etymology: The adjectival use has arisen from the noun ace, which essentially means 'number one'. History and Usage: As any reader of war comics will know, during the First World War outstanding pilots who had succeeded in bringing down ten or more enemy planes were known as aces; shortly after this, ace started to be used in American English to mean any outstanding person or thing, and by the middle of the century was often used with another noun following (as in 'an ace sportsman'). It was a short step from this attributive use to full adjectival status. In the eighties, ace was re-adopted by young people as a general term of approval, and this time round it was always used as an adjective ('that's really ace!') or adverbially ('ace!') as a kind of exclamation. With staff, everything becomes possible. And--ace and brill--they confer instant status on the employer at the same time. A double benefit: dead good and the apotheosis of yuppiedom. Daily Telegraph 12 July 1987, p. 21

The holiday was absolutely ace--loads of sailing and mountain walking, and even a night's camping in the hills. Balance (British Diabetic Association) Aug.-Sept. 1989, p. 45 acid house noun (Music) (Youth Culture) A style of popular music with a fast beat, a spare, mesmeric, synthesized sound, few (if any) vocals, and a distinctive gurgling bass; in the UK, a youth cult surrounding this music and associated in the public mind with smiley badges, drug-taking, and extremely large parties known as acid house parties. Sometimes abbreviated to acid (also written acieeed or aciiied, especially when used as a kind of interjection). Etymology: The word acid here is probably taken from the record Acid Trax by Phuture (in Chicago slang, acid burning is a term for stealing and this type of music relies heavily on sampling, or stealing from other tracks); a popular theory that it is a reference to the drug LSD is denied by its followers (but compare acid rock, a sixties psychedelic rock craze, which certainly was). House is an abbreviated form of Warehouse: see house. History and Usage: Acid house music originated in Chicago as an offshoot of house music in 1986; at first it was called 'washing machine', which aptly described the original sound. Imported to the UK in 1988, acid house started a youth cult during the summer of that year, and soon spawned its own set of behaviour and its own language. The craze for acid house parties, at venues kept secret until the very last moment, exercised police forces throughout the south of England, since they often involved trespass on private land and caused a public nuisance, although organizers claimed that they had been maligned in the popular press. I suppose that a lot of acid house music is guilty of...being completely cold and devoid of any human touch.

Spin Oct. 1989, p. 18 Aciiied was a figment of the British imagination. Like British R&B in the Sixties, it was a creative misrecognition of a Black American pop. Melody Maker 23-30 Dec. 1989, p. 34 Acid House, whose emblem is a vapid, anonymous smile, is the simplest and gentlest of the Eighties' youth manifestations. Its dance music is rhythmic but non-aggressive (except in terms of decibels). Independent 3 Mar. 1990, p. 12 See also warehouse acid rain noun (Environment) Rain containing harmful acids which have formed in the atmosphere, usually when waste gases from industrial emissions combine with water. Etymology: Formed by compounding: rain with an acid content. History and Usage: The term acid rain was first used as long ago as 1859, when R. A. Smith observed in a chemical journal that the stonework of buildings crumbled away more quickly in towns where a great deal of coal was burnt for industrial purposes; this he attributed to the combination of waste gases with water in the air, making the rain acidic. In the early 1970s the term was revived as it became clear that acid rain was having a terrible effect on the forests and lakes of North America, Europe, and especially Scandinavia (killing trees and freshwater life). Acid rain started to be discussed frequently in official reports and documents on the environment; but it was not until environmental concerns became a public issue in the eighties that the term passed from technical writing of one kind and another into everyday use. With this familiarity came a better understanding of the causes of acid rain, including the contribution of exhaust fumes from private vehicles. By the end of the eighties, acid rain was a term which even schoolchildren could be expected to know and understand, and had been joined by

variations on the same theme: acid cloud, a term designed to emphasize the fact that acidic gases could damage the environment even without any precipitation; acid fallout, the overall atmospheric effect of pollution; acid precipitation, the name sometimes used for snow or hail of high acidity. She has a list of favorite subjects, favorite serious subjects--nuclear proliferation, acid rain, unemployment, as well as racial bigotry and the situation of women. Alice Munro Progress of Love (1987), p. 190 Burning oil will contribute to the carbon dioxide umbrella and the acid rain deposited on Europe. Private Eye 1 Sept. 1989, p. 25 acquired immune deficiency syndrome (Health and Fitness) see Aids active

adjective (Science and Technology) Programmed so as to be able to monitor and adjust to different situations or to carry out several different functions; smart, intelligent°. Etymology: A simple development of sense: the software enables the device to act on the results of monitoring or on commands from its user. History and Usage: This sense of active became popular in the naming of products which make use of developments in artificial intelligence and microelectronics during the late eighties and early nineties: for example, the Active Book, the trade mark of a product designed to enable an executive to use facilities like fax, telephone, dictaphone, etc. through a single portable device; the active card, a smart card with its own keyboard and display, enabling its user to discover the remaining balance, request transactions, etc.; active optics, which makes use of computer technology to correct light for the distortion placed upon it as it passes through the atmosphere; active suspension, a suspension system for cars in which the hydraulic activators

are controlled by a computer which monitors road conditions and adjusts suspension accordingly; and active system, any computerized system that adjusts itself to changes in the immediate environment, especially a hi-fi system. The only development that I would class as the 'biggy' for 1980 was the introduction of reasonably priced active systems. Popular Hi-Fi Mar. 1981, p. 15 The company is also pioneering the development of active or supersmart cards, which rivals...believe to be impractical on several counts. New Scientist 11 Feb. 1989, p. 64 One of our mottos is 'Buy an Active Book and get 20 per cent of your life back'. Daily Telegraph 30 Apr. 1990, p. 31 active birth noun (Health and Fitness) Childbirth during which the mother is encouraged to be as active as possible, mainly by moving around freely and assuming any position which feels comfortable. Etymology: Formed by compounding: birth which is active rather than passive. History and Usage: The active birth movement was founded by childbirth counsellor Janet Balaskas in 1982 as a direct rejection of the increasingly technological approach to childbirth which prevailed in British and American hospitals at the time. Ironically, this technological approach was known as the active management of labour; to many of the women involved it felt like a denial of their right to participate in their own labour. The idea of active birth was to move away from the view that a woman in labour is a patient to be treated (and therefore passive), freeing her from the encumbrance of monitors and other medical technology whenever possible and handing over to her the

opportunity to manage her own labour. The concept has been further popularized in the UK by Sheila Kitzinger. The concept of Active Birth is based on the idea that the woman in labour is an active birthgiver, not a passive patient. Sheila Kitzinger Freedom & Choice in Childbirth (1987), p. 63 New Active Birth by Janet Balaskas...After Active Birth, published in 1983, updated New Active Birth prepares a woman for complete participation in the birth of her child. Guardian 1 Aug. 1989, p. 17 active citizen noun (Politics) A member of the public who takes an active role in the community, usually by getting involved in crime prevention, good neighbour schemes, etc. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a citizen who is active in society rather than passively soaking up the benefits of community life. History and Usage: The term active citizen was first used in the name of the Active Citizen Force, a White militia in South Africa, set up in 1912 and consisting of male citizens undergoing national service. In a completely separate development, active citizen started to be used in the US from the late seventies as a more polite way of saying 'political activist' or even 'future politician'; some active citizens even organized themselves into pressure groups which were able to affect local government policies. In the UK, the term active citizen and the associated policy of active citizenship were popularized by the Conservative government of the eighties, which placed great emphasis upon them, especially after the Conservative Party conference of 1988. The focus of active citizenship as encouraged by this government was on crime prevention (including neighbourhood watch) and public order,

rather than political activism. This put it on the borderline with vigilante activity, a cause of some difficulty in turning the policy into concrete action. Pervading the researches will be an effort to plumb individuals' moral convictions, their motives for joining or not joining in active citizenship. Christian Science Monitor (New England edition) 2 June 1980, p. 32 Intermediate to produce the 'active citizen' which Ministers such as Douglas Hurd have sought to call into existence to supplement gaps in welfare provision. Daily Telegraph 3 May 1989, p. 18 'Active citizens'...brought unsafe or unethical practices by their employers to official notice. As their stories reveal, active citizenship carries considerable personal risk. Blacklisting by other employers is a frequent consequence. Guardian 27 June 1990, p. 23 acupressure noun (Health and Fitness) A complementary therapy also known as shiatsu, in which symptoms are relieved by applying pressure with the thumbs or fingers to specific pressure points on the body. Etymology: Formed by combining the first two syllables of acupuncture (acupressure is a Japanese application of the same principles as are used in Chinese acupuncture) with pressure. The word acupressure actually already existed in English for a nineteenth-century method of arresting bleeding during operations by applying pressure with a needle (Latin acu means 'with a needle'); since no needle is used in shiatsu it is clear that the present use is a separate formation of the word, deliberately referring back to acupuncture but without taking into account the original meaning of acu-.

History and Usage: Acupressure has been practised in Japan as shiatsu and in China as G-Jo ('first aid') for many centuries; it was exported to the Western world during the 1960s, but at first was usually called shiatsu. During the late seventies and early eighties acupressure became the preferred term and the word became popularized, first in the US and then in the UK, as complementary medicine became more acceptable and even sought after. In the late eighties the principle was incorporated into a popular proprietary means of avoiding motion sickness in which elastic bracelets hold a hard 'button' in place, pressing on an acupressure point on each wrist. A practitioner of acupressure is called an acupressurist. Among the kinds of conditions that benefit from acupressure are migraine, stress, and tension-related problems. Natural Choice Issue 1 (1988), p. 19 After one two-hour massage that included...acupressure, I was addicted. Alice Walker Temple of My Familiar (1989), p. 292 acyclovir noun (Health and Fitness) An antiviral drug that is effective against certain types of herpes, including cytomegalovirus. Etymology: Formed by combining all but the ending of the adjective acyclic (in its chemical sense, 'containing no cycle, or ring of atoms') with the stem of viral. History and Usage: The drug was developed at the end of the seventies and became the only effective treatment for genital herpes that was available during the eighties. It was widely publicized as a breakthrough in antiviral medicine at a time when genital herpes was seen as the most intractable sexually transmitted disease affecting Western societies (before the advent of Aids). During the late eighties it was used in combination with AZT (or Zidovudine) in the management of cytomegalovirus, a herpes virus which affects some people

already infected with HIV. The beauty of acyclovir is that it remains inactive in the body until it comes in contact with a herpes-induced enzyme. The enzyme then activates the drug. Maclean's 2 Nov. 1981, p. 24 Professor Griffiths said studies in the US have shown the drug Acyclovir to be effective in preventing the side effects of CMV infection. Guardian 7 July 1989, p. 3 1.4 Adam...


noun (Drugs) In the slang of drug users, the hallucinogenic designer drug methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA, also known as Ecstasy. Etymology: The name is probably a type of backslang, reversing the abbreviated chemical name MDMA, dropping the first m, and pronouncing the resulting 'word'; it may be influenced by the associations of the first Adam with paradise. A similar designer drug is known in drugs slang as Eve. History and Usage: For history, see Ecstasy. On the street, its name is 'ecstasy' or 'Adam', which should tell how people on the street feel about it. Los Angeles Times 29 Mar. 1985, section 5, p. 8 One close relative of MDMA, known as Eve--MDMA is sometimes called Adam--has already been shown to be less toxic to rats than MDMA. Because of a 'designer-drug' law passed in 1986, Eve is banned too. Economist 19 Mar. 1988, p. 94

additive noun (Environment) (Lifestyle and Leisure)

A substance which is added to something during manufacture, especially a chemical added to food or drink to improve its colour, flavour, preservability, etc. (known more fully as a food additive). Etymology: Additive has meant 'something that is added' since the middle of this century; recently it has acquired this more specialized use, which partly arose from the desire to abbreviate food additive once the term was being used frequently. History and Usage: Public interest in what was being put into foods by manufacturers grew rapidly during the eighties because of the green movement, with its associated diet-consciousness and demand for 'natural' products, and also because of growing evidence of the harmful effects of certain additives (including their implication in hyperactivity and other behavioural problems in children). This interest was crystallized in the mid eighties by new EC regulations on naming and listing additives and the publication of a number of reference books giving details of all the permitted food additives as well as some of the possible effects on health of ingesting them. Possibly the most famous of these was Maurice Hanssen's E for Additives (1984); certainly after the publication of this book, additive could be used on its own (not preceded by food) without fear of misunderstanding. In response to the public backlash against the use of chemical additives, manufacturers began to make a publicity point out of foods which contained none; the phrase free from artificial additives (bearing witness to the fact that food additives from natural sources continued to be used) and the adjective additive-free began to appear frequently on food labels from the second half of the eighties. Last week Peter turned up at Broadcasting House with the first ever commercially produced non-sweetened, additive-free yoghurt. Listener 10 May 1984, p. 15 Every human and inhuman emotion magnified itself in New York; thoughts...more quickly became action within and beyond the law; some said the cause lay in the food, the

additives, some said in the polluted air. Janet Frame Carpathians (1988), p. 103 See also Alar, E number, -free advertorial noun (Business World) An advertisement which is written in the form of an editorial and purports to contain objective information about a product, although actually being limited to the advertiser's own publicity material. Etymology: Formed by replacing the first two syllables of editorial with the word advert to make a blend. History and Usage: The advertorial (both the phenomenon and the word) first appeared in the US as long ago as the sixties, but did not become a common advertising ploy in the UK until the mid eighties. Advertorials came in for some criticism when they started to appear in British newspapers since there was a feeling of dishonesty about them (as deliberately inducing the reader to read them as though they were editorials or features), but they apparently did not contravene fair advertising standards as set out in the British Code of Advertising Practice: An advertisement should always be so designed and presented that anyone who looks at it can see, without having to study it closely, that it is an advertisement. In many cases the page on which an advertorial appears is headed advertising or advertisement feature (a more official name for the advertorial), and this is meant to alert the reader to the nature of the article, although the layout of the page often does not. The word advertorial is sometimes used (as in the second example below) without an article to mean this style of advertisement-writing in general rather than an individual example of it. Yes, advertorials are a pain, just like the advertising supplement pages in Barron's, but I question whether

'anyone who bought FNN would have to junk the programming'. Barron's 24 Apr. 1989, p. 34 This will probably lead to a growth in what the industry calls 'advertorial'--a mixture of public relations and journalism, or editorial with bias. Sunday Correspondent 22 Apr. 1990, p. 27 1.5 aerobics

aerobics noun (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) A form of physical exercise designed to increase fitness by any maintainable activity that increases oxygen intake and heart rate. Etymology: A plural noun on the same model as mathematics or stylistics, formed on the adjective aerobic ('requiring or using free oxygen in the air'), which has itself been in use since the late nineteenth century. History and Usage: The word was coined by Major Kenneth Cooper of the US Air Force as the name for a fitness programme developed in the sixties for US astronauts. In the early eighties, when fitness became a subject of widespread public interest, aerobics became the first of a string of fitness crazes enthusiastically taken up by the media. The fashion for the aerobics class, at which aerobic exercises were done rhythmically to music as part of a dance movement called an aerobics routine, started in California, soon spread to the UK, Europe, and Australia, and even reached the Soviet Union before giving way to other exercise programmes such as Callanetics. Although a plural noun in form, aerobics may take either singular or plural agreement. Aerobics have become the latest fitness craze. Observer 18 July 1982, p. 25

The air-waves of the small, stuffy gym reverberated with the insistent drum notes as thirty pairs of track shoes beat out the rhythm of the aerobics routine. Pat Booth Palm Beach (1986), p. 31 See also Aquarobics 1.6 affinity card...

affinity card noun Sometimes in the form affinity credit card (Business World) A credit card issued to members of a particular affinity group; in the UK, one which is linked to a particular charity such that the credit-card company makes a donation to the charity for each new card issued and also passes on a small proportion of the money spent by the card user. Etymology: Formed by combining affinity in the sense in which it is used in affinity group (an American term meaning 'a group of people sharing a common purpose or interest') with card°. In the case of the charity cards, the idea is that the holders of the cards share a common interest in helping the charity. History and Usage: Affinity cards were first issued in the US in the late seventies in a wide variety of different forms to cater for different interest groups. These cards were actually issued through the affinity group (which could be any non-profit organization such as a college, a union, or a club), and entitled its members to various discounts and other benefits. When the idea was taken up by large banks and building societies in the UK in 1987, it was chiefly in relation to charities, and the idea was skilfully used to attract new customers while at the same time appealing to their social conscience. One alternative [to credit-card charges] is an affinity credit card linked to a charity, although the Leeds Permanent Building Society is considering charging for its affinity cards. Observer 29 Apr. 1990, p. 37

Affinity cards cannot be used to access any account other than one maintained by a Visa card-issuing financial institution. Los Angeles Times 10 Oct. 1990, section D, p. 5 affluential adjective and noun (People and Society) adjective: Influential largely because of great wealth; rich and powerful. noun: A person whose influential position in society derives from wealth. Etymology: Formed by telescoping affluent or affluence and influential to make a blend. History and Usage: A US coinage of the second half of the seventies, affluential became quite well established (especially as a noun) in American English during the eighties, but so far shows little sign of catching on in the UK. Spa is the name of the mineral-water resort in Belgium, and has become a word for 'watering place' associated with the weight-conscious affluentials around the world. New York Times Magazine 18 Dec. 1983, p. 13 affluenza noun (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) A psychiatric disorder affecting wealthy people and involving feelings of malaise, lack of motivation, guilt, etc. Etymology: Formed by telescoping affluence and influenza to make a blend. History and Usage: The term was popularized in the mid eighties by Californian psychiatrist John Levy, after he had conducted a study of children who grow up expecting never to need to earn a living for themselves because of inheriting large sums of money. The name affluenza had apparently been suggested by one of the

patients. By the end of the eighties, the term had started to catch on and was being applied more generally to the guilt feelings of people who suspected that they earned or possessed more than they were worth. The San Francisco group also runs seminars that teach heiresses how to cope with guilt, lack of motivation, and other symptoms of affluenza, an ailment she says is rampant among children of the wealthy. Fortune 13 Apr. 1987, p. 27 Also pathogenic is 'affluenza', the virus of inherited wealth, striking young people with guilt, boredom, lack of motivation, and delayed emotional development. British Medical Journal 1 Aug. 1987, p. 324 1.7 ageism


noun Also written agism (People and Society)

Discrimination or prejudice against someone on the grounds of age; especially, prejudice against middle-aged and elderly people. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ism (as in racism and sexism) to age. History and Usage: The word was coined by Dr Robert Butler of Washington DC, a specialist in geriatric medicine, in 1969; by the mid seventies it was fairly common in the US but did not really enter popular usage in the UK until the late seventies or early eighties. Until then, it was often written age-ism, displaying a slight discomfort about its place in the language. Along with a number of other -isms, ageism enjoyed a vogue in the media during the eighties, perhaps partly because of a growing awareness of the rising proportion of older people in society and the need to ensure their welfare. The adjective and noun ageist both date from the seventies and have a similar history to ageism.

The government campaign against 'ageism' was stepped up this weekend with a call for employers to avoid discrimination against the elderly in job advertisements. Sunday Times 5 Feb. 1989, section A, p. 4 John Palmer, who had been at that desk for many years, was completely screwed...I think that's ageist. New York 23 July 1990, p. 29 See also ableism, fattism, and heterosexism 1.8 AI...


abbreviation (Science and Technology) Short for artificial intelligence, the use of computers and associated technology to model and simulate intelligent human behaviour. Etymology: The initial letters of Artificial Intelligence. History and Usage: Attempts to 'teach' computers how to carry out tasks (such as translation between languages) which would normally require a human intelligence date back almost as far as computer technology itself, and have been referred to under the general-purpose heading of artificial intelligence since the fifties. This was being abbreviated to AI in technical literature by the seventies, and by the eighties the abbreviation had entered the general vocabulary, as computing technology became central to nearly all areas of human activity. The abbreviation is often used attributively, with a following noun, as in AI technology etc. Sales for AI technology will top œ719 million this year. Business Week 1 July 1985, p. 78 Military research...has been both the driving force and...paymaster of AI development.

CU Amiga Apr. 1990, p. 89 -Aid

combining form Also written -aid and without hyphen (People and Society) The second element in names of efforts to raise money for charity. Etymology: Based on Band Aid, the punning name of a rock group formed by Irish rock musician Bob Geldof in 1984 to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia; Band-Aid is also the trade mark of a well-known brand of sticking-plasters. Until Bob Geldof became involved in this area, aid had tended to be associated with economic assistance given by one government to another, often with political conditions attached. History and Usage: The enormous success of Bob Geldof's appeal for Ethiopia, which began with the release of Band Aid's record Do they know it's Christmas? in 1984 and continued with a large-scale rock concert called Live Aid in 1985, laid the foundations for this new combining element in the language. Whereas in the sixties, fund-raising organizations and events had favoured the word fund in their titles, it now became fashionable to use -Aid following the name of your group or activity (School-Aid for schoolchildren's efforts, Fashion-Aid for a charity fashion show, etc.), or after the name of the group being helped (as in Kurd Aid, an unofficial name for a Red Cross concert in aid of Kurdish refugees in May 1991). Sport Aid organizers were yesterday endeavouring to maximize the money raised by Sunday's worldwide Race Against Time in aid of African famine relief. The Times 28 May 1986, p. 2 Inspired by the Live Aid rockathon, Willie Nelson staged Farm Aid I in Champaign to help the needy closer to home. Life Fall 1989, p. 142

aid fatigue

(People and Society) see compassion fatigue Aids

acronym Also written AIDS (Health and Fitness) Short for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, a complex condition which is thought to be caused by a virus called HIV and which destroys a person's ability to fight infections. Etymology: An acronym, formed on the initial letters of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. History and Usage: The condition was first noticed by doctors at the very end of the seventies and was described under the name acquired immune deficiency state in 1980, although later research has shown that a person died from Aids as long ago as 1959 and that the virus which causes it may have existed in Africa for a hundred years or more. Colloquially the condition was also sometimes referred to as GRID (gay-related immune disease) in the US before the name Aids became established. The US Center for Disease Control first used the name acquired immune deficiency syndrome and the acronym Aids in September 1982, and by 1984 the disease was already reaching epidemic proportions in the US and coming to be known as the scourge of the eighties. At first Aids was identified as principally affecting two groups: first, drug users who shared needles, and second, male homosexuals, giving rise to the unkind name gay plague, which was widely bandied about in newspapers during the mid eighties. Once the virus which causes the immune breakdown which can lead to Aids was identified and it became clear that this was transmitted in body fluids, sexual promiscuity in general was blamed for its rapid spread. These discoveries prompted a concerted and ill-received government advertising campaign in the UK which aimed to make the general public aware of the risks and how to avoid them; this resulted, amongst other things, in the revival of the word condom in everyday English. The acronym soon came to be written by some in the form Aids (rather than AIDS) and thought of as a proper noun; it was also very quickly used attributively, especially in Aids virus (a colloquial name for HIV) and the adjective Aids-related. By 1984 doctors had established that infection with the virus could precede the onset of any symptoms by some months or years, and identified three distinct phases of the syndrome:

lymphadenopathy syndrome developed first, followed by Aids-related complex (ARC), a phase in which preliminary symptoms of fever, weight loss, and malaise become apparent; the later phase, always ultimately fatal, in which the body's natural defences against infection are broken down and tumours may develop, came to be known as full-blown Aids. Colloquially, the phases before the onset of full-blown Aids are sometimes called pre-Aids. The language of Aids (Aidspeak) became both complex and emotive as the eighties progressed, with the word Aids itself being used imprecisely in many popular sources to mean no more than infection with HIV--a usage which, in the eyes of those most closely concerned with Aids, could only be expected to add to the stigmatization and even victimization of already isolated social groups. The Center for Disease Control published a carefully defined spectrum of stages, in an attempt to make the position clear: HIV antibody seronegativity (i.e. the absence of antibodies against HIV in the blood), HIV antibody seropositivity (see antibody-positive), HIV asymptomaticity, lymphadenopathy syndrome, Aids-related complex, and full-blown Aids. In order to lessen the emotive connotations of some tabloid language about Aids, pressure groups tried to discourage the use of Aids victim and replace it with person with Aids (see PWA). The terminology had become so complex and tricky that those who could find their way about it and understood the issues came to be known as Aids-literate. At the time of writing no cure has been found for Aids. In just one year the list of people at risk from AIDS has lengthened from male homosexuals, drug-abusers and Haitians, to include the entire population [of the USA]. New Scientist 3 Feb. 1983, p. 289 St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis...will look at potential drug treatments in animals for an AIDS-related form of pneumonia, pneumocystis carinii. New York Times 1 May 1983, section 1, p. 26 Buddies' project is not to examine the construction of gay identity but to take apart the mythology of AIDS as

a 'gay plague'. Film Review Annual 1986, p. 160 Of 34 mothers who gave birth to children with Aids at his hospital, only four had any symptoms of the disease or Aids-related complex, a milder form. Daily Telegraph 3 Feb. 1986, p. 5 Like many well-educated professionals who are sexually active, the man had become an AIDS encyclopedia without changing his habits. Atlantic Feb. 1987, p. 45 See also Slim Aidsline (People and Society) see -line Aids-related virus (Health and Fitness) see HIV airhead noun (People and Society) In North American slang, a stupid person; someone who speaks or acts unintelligently. Etymology: Formed by compounding: someone whose head is full of air; perhaps influenced by the earlier form bubblehead (which goes back to the fifties). History and Usage: Airhead has been a favourite American and Canadian term of abuse since the beginning of the eighties, used especially for the unintelligent but attractive type of woman that the British call a bimbo. At first airhead was associated with teenage Valspeak, but it soon spread into more general use among all age-groups. Although very common in US English by the mid eighties, airhead did not start to catch on in the UK or Australia until the end of the decade. His comedies of manners are very funny, and the vain airheads who populate his novels are wonderfully drawn.

Christian Science Monitor 2 Mar. 1984, section B, p. 12 Mature women...left the airheads to be abused by the stuffy, bossy older men and wore shorter skirts than their teenage daughters. Indy 21 Dec. 1989, p. 7 airside noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) The part of an airport which is beyond passport controls and so is only meant to be open to the travelling public and to bona fide airport and airline staff. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the side of the airport giving access to the air (as opposed to the landside, the public area of the airport). History and Usage: The word airside has been in use in the technical vocabulary of civil aviation since at least the fifties, but only really came to public notice during the late eighties, especially after the bombing, over Lockerbie in Scotland, of a Pan-Am passenger jet after it left London's Heathrow airport in December 1988. As a result of this and other terrorist attacks on air travel, a great deal of concern was expressed about the ease with which a person could gain access to airside and plant a device, and several attempts were made by investigative reporters to breach security in this way. Tighter security arrangements were put in place. The word airside is used with or without an article, and can also be used attributively in airside pass etc. or adverbially (to go airside etc.). Far too many unvetted people have access to aircraft...No one should get an 'airside' pass without...clearance. The Times 27 June 1985, p. 12 For several hours the terminal-building was plunged into chaos. 'Airside' was sealed off by armed police.

Daily Telegraph 18 Apr. 1986, p. 36 1.9 Alar...


noun (Environment) A trade mark for daminozide, a growth-regulating chemical used as a spray on fruit trees to enable the whole crop to be harvested at once. History and Usage: Alar has been manufactured under this brand name since the mid sixties and is used by commercial growers to regulate the growth of fruit (especially apples), so larger, unblemished fruit which remains on the tree longer can be produced. The chemical does not remain on the surface of the fruit, but penetrates the flesh, so that it cannot be washed off or removed by peeling. The results of research published in the second half of the eighties showed that, when the apples were subsequently processed (in order to make apple juice, for instance), Alar could be converted into unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (or UDMH), a potent carcinogen. This discovery brought Alar unwelcome publicity during the late eighties: mothers anxious to protect their children from harmful chemicals in foods (among them some famous mothers such as film star Meryl Streep in the US and comedian Pamela Stephenson in the UK) led a campaign to have its use discontinued. Alar was voluntarily withdrawn by its manufacturers, Uniroyal, from use on food crops in the US and Australia in 1989; in the UK the Advisory Committee on Pesticides declared it safe. Some products which have been publicised as Alar-free by retailers and manufacturers were still found to contain Alar. She Oct. 1989, p. 18 Most people are far more frightened of the threat of cancer than of the flulike symptoms that they associate with food poisoning. Fanning their anxieties are frequent alerts: about dioxin in milk, aldicarb in potatoes, Alar in apples.

New York Times 7 May 1990, section D, p. 11 alcohol abuse (Drugs) (People and Society) see abuse alcohol-free (Lifestyle and Leisure) see -free Alexander technique noun (Health and Fitness) A complementary therapy which aims to correct bad posture and teach people a balanced use of their bodies as an aid to better health. Etymology: The name of F. Matthias Alexander, who invented the technique. History and Usage: The Alexander technique was developed by Alexander, an Australian actor who subsequently devoted his life to physiotherapy, at the end of the nineteenth century, and was promoted by the writer Aldous Huxley in the forties. It was not widely taken up by the general public until the seventies in the US and the early eighties in the UK, when complementary medicine and alternative approaches to health became more socially acceptable than previously. It continued to enjoy a vogue in the late eighties, since it fitted in well with the New Age approach to self-awareness. Although not claiming to cure any organic health problems, teachers of the Alexander technique maintain that it can relieve or even remove symptoms, notably back pain, as well as helping people to prevent pain and discomfort in later life. The Alexander Technique is a very careful, gentle way of increasing awareness; it was a joy to learn how to listen to myself. Out from the Core Feb. 1986, p. 5 I saw an ad...for a cheap introductory course in Alexander technique and as I had poor posture aching back, I went along.

Good Housekeeping May 1990, p. 17 aliterate adjective and noun (People and Society) adjective: Disinclined to acquire information from written sources; able to read, but preferring not to. noun: A person who can read but chooses to derive information, entertainment, etc. from non-literary sources. Etymology: A hybrid word, formed by adding the Greek prefix ain the sense 'without' to literate, a word of Latin origin. The hybrid form was intended to make a distinction between the aliterate and the illiterate (formed with the equivalent Latin prefix in-), who are unable to read and write. History and Usage: The word aliterate was coined in the late sixties, but it was not until the eighties that there began to be real evidence that the increasing popularity of television and other 'screen-based' media (including information on computer screens) was having a noticeable effect on people's use of reading and writing skills. This observation came soon after it had been revealed that there were considerable numbers of people leaving school unable to read and write. In the early eighties, the noun aliteracy developed as a counterbalance to illiteracy; the two terms described these twin problems. As the eighties progressed, graphics and video became even more heavily used to put across information, to teach, and to entertain; aliteracy is therefore likely to become increasingly prevalent in the nineties. The nation's decision-making threatened by those who can read but won't, Townsend Hooper, president of the Association of American Publishers, told some 50 persons attending an 'a-literacy' conference. Publishers Weekly 1 Oct. 1982, p. 34 According to a recent estimate, 60 million Americans--almost one-third of our entire population--is illiterate. And a recent report from the Librarian of Congress suggests that we may have at least the same number who are aliterate.

The Times 27 Dec. 1985, p. 12 all-terrain bike (Lifestyle and Leisure) see mountain bike alpha test noun and verb (Science and Technology) noun: A preliminary test of an experimental product (such as computer software), usually carried out within the organization developing it before it is sent out for beta testing. transitive verb: To submit (a product) to an alpha test. Etymology: Formed by compounding. Alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, has long been used to denote the first in a series; the alpha test is the first test in a routine series. History and Usage: The concept of the alpha test comes from the world of computer software development, where it has been used since the early eighties. Its purpose is to iron out as many bugs as possible before allowing the software to be used by outsiders during the second phase of testing (see beta test). A person whose job is to test software in this way for the developer is an alpha-tester; the process is known as alpha testing and the product at this stage of development is the alpha-test version. As the operations manager for a large computer equipment manufacturer, Ray Majkut helped oversee the 90-day test of a 200-line private branch exchange, an experience he regarded as more of an alpha test than a beta test. Network World 14 Apr. 1986, p. 35 Apple set Hypercard 2.0 into alpha test right before the quake, making a spring intro likely. InfoWorld 23 Oct. 1989, p. 110 Altergate (Politics) see -gate

alternative adjective and noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) adjective: Offering a different approach from the conventional or established one; belonging to the counter-culture. noun: An approach that is alternative in this way; also, a follower of alternative culture. Etymology: A simple development of sense: alternative first meant 'offering a choice between two things', but by the end of the last century could be used to refer to choices involving more than two options. The meaning dealt with here probably arose from the phrase alternative society (see below). History and Usage: The word alternative was first used in this sense when the hippie culture of the late sixties, with its rejection of materialism and traditional Western values, was described as an alternative society. Almost immediately, anything that served the counter-culture also came to be described as alternative (for example the alternative press, consisting of those newspapers and magazines that were aimed at radical youth); uses arose from within the counter-culture, too (for example the alternative prospectus, which gave the students' view of an educational establishment rather than the official view). Although the term alternative society itself had fallen from fashion by the end of the seventies, the adjective enjoyed a new vogue in the eighties as the green movement urged society to seek new approaches to natural resources, fuel sources, etc. and the health and fitness movement became increasingly influential in advocating unconventional medical therapies. The most important alternatives of the past decade have been: alternative birth, birthing (Health and Fitness), any method of childbirth that tries to get away from the intrusive, high-tech approach of modern medicine towards a more natural and homely setting in which the mother has control; alternative comedy (Lifestyle and Leisure), comedy that is not based on stereotypes (especially sexual or racial ones) or on conventional views of humour, but often includes an element of black humour or surrealism and an aggressive style of

performance; also alternative comedian, alternative comedienne, practitioners of this; alternative energy (Environment), energy (such as solar power, wind generation, etc.) derived from any source that does not use up the earth's natural resources of fossil fuels or harm the environment; alternative medicine, therapy (Health and Fitness), any medical technique that aims to promote health and fitness without the use of drugs, often involving the patient in self-awareness and self-help; complementary medicine; alternative technology (Environment) (Science and Technology), technology deliberately designed to conserve natural resources and avoid harm to the environment, especially by harnessing renewable energy sources. Babies are born with as little medical intervention as possible in the hospital's Alternative Birth Center, located on a separate floor from the maternity wing. Money Dec. 1983, p. 205 A recent survey of more than 1,000 practitioners, conducted by the Institute for Complementary Medicine, found the number of patients turning to alternative therapies growing at an annual rate of 15 per cent, with a 39 per cent increase in patients visiting homeopaths. Chicago Tribune 8 Apr. 1985, p. 1 Jennifer is a 20-year-old Alternative, with short platinum hair jelled and sprayed into a cone, bright face, smart casual clothes and heavy worker's boots. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 27 Sept. 1988, p. 17 The so-called alternative comedy boom was initially compared to the punk phenomenon and ultimately has proved to be equally as impotent. Arena Autumn/Winter 1988, p. 163

Waterfall Vegetarian launching its new range of alternative salami slices with its Vegelami slice. Grocer 21 Jan. 1989, p. 168 The...Trust will invest in companies working to ensure a better cleaner environment (waste processing, alternative energy, recycling, etc). Green Magazine Apr. 1990, p. 82 1.10 angel dust...

angel dust noun Sometimes written angels' dust (Drugs) In the slang of drug users, the hallucinogenic drug phencyclidine hydrochloride or PCP (see PCP°). Etymology: Formed by compounding. The drug was originally taken in the form of a powder or dust; it may be called the dust of angels because of the supposedly heavenly visions that it produces, although it has been claimed that the reason is that the drug was first distributed illegally by Hell's Angels. History and Usage: Angel dust was popular in the drugs subculture of the sixties (when the term was sometimes used to refer to drug mixtures such as cocaine, heroin, and morphine, or dried marijuana with PCP). In the eighties angel dust enjoyed a short-lived revival as one of the preferred drugs of the new psychedelia associated with acid house; the term became the usual street name this time round for PCP, which also had a large number of other slang names such as cornflakes, goon, hog, loopy dust, and rocket fuel. She could've been on something...Acid, angel dust. Elmore Leonard Glitz (1985), p. 69 PCP or 'angel dust', a strong anaesthetic which came after LSD in 1960s drug fashions...has recently emerged

anew. Now they call it 'rocket fuel' in Chicago and mix it with peanut butter. Sunday Times 24 Mar. 1985, p. 12 'Angel dust', one of the most dangerous street drugs ever created, may soon have a new role--in treating heart attack and stroke victims. Observer 12 Mar. 1989, p. 32 angioplasty noun (Health and Fitness) An operation to repair a damaged blood vessel or to unblock a coronary artery. Etymology: A compound formed on classical roots: angio- is the Latinized form of a Greek word, aggeion, meaning 'a vessel'; -plasty comes from Greek plastia, 'moulding, formation'. History and Usage: Angioplasty has been known as a medical term since the twenties, but came into the news during the eighties particularly as a result of the development of two new techniques for carrying it out. Balloon angioplasty, available since the mid eighties, involves passing a tiny balloon up the patient's arteries and inflating it to remove blood clots or other blockages. Laser angioplasty, still in its experimental stages in the late eighties, makes use of lasers to burn away blockages, and is designed to be minimally invasive. The development of these techniques has meant that expensive heart surgery under general anaesthetic can now often be avoided, with angioplasty taking place instead under local anaesthetic. Angioplasty by these new means has therefore been vaunted in the popular science press as a very significant medical advance. Arterial lesions would remain at the center of medical interest in coronary heart disease for decades to come. Cholesterol-lowering diets would aim to slow their growth; bypass surgery would attempt to route blood around them; in angioplasty, a tiny balloon would squeeze the lesions open.

Atlantic Sept. 1989, p. 39 Anglo-Irish agreement noun (Politics) A formal agreement between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, signed on 15 November 1985, establishing an intergovernmental conference and providing for greater cooperation between the two countries, especially where the sovereignty and security of Northern Ireland were concerned. Etymology: Anglo- is the combining form of English, but doubles as the combining form for British and 'of the United Kingdom', since neither has a combining form of its own; to describe the agreement as Anglo-Irish therefore means not just that it was between England and Eire, but between the whole United Kingdom and Eire (and so by implication included Northern Ireland, even though it met with opposition there). History and Usage: The Anglo-Irish agreement was the subject of some considerable speculation in the press long before it was actually signed by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald at Hillsborough, Co. Down, in 1985: the earliest uses of the term date from the very beginning of the eighties. It became very frequently used in newspapers during the mid eighties, partly as a result of the intense opposition to it raised by Ulster Unionists. They particularly objected to the fact that their political representatives had not been involved in the negotiations and to the implications they saw in it for the sovereignty of Northern Ireland. Attempted Ulster talks in May 1991 sought to involve them first in a new agreement. The disagreement goes to the heart of the problem of how to introduce Dublin as a partner in the talks and what role it would have in renegotiating the replacement of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Guardian 28 June 1990, p. 2 animal-free (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see -free

animalist° noun (Politics) An animal rights campaigner or supporter. Etymology: A contraction of animal liberationist; formerly, an animalist was a follower of the philosophy of animalism or an artist who treated animal subjects. History and Usage: This snappier term arose in US English during the mid eighties and is as yet barely established in the language. The movement to which it refers, variously known as animal liberation, animal lib, and animal rights, has a much longer history--the term animal liberation goes back to the early seventies--and there is a good case for a term which would be less of a mouthful than animal liberationist or animal rights campaigner, although this one suffers from possible confusion with the opposite meaning of the adjective animalist in the entry below. The uproar resulted from a column two weeks ago in which I reported that animalist Barbara Toth was enraged over the possibility that some Asian immigrants in Canoga Park might be turning strays into dog foo young. Los Angeles Times (Valley edition) 22 July 1985, section 2, p. 7 The dismal sight on Tuesday night of bedraggled 'animalists' distributing protest literature to queues of happy families agog with the expectancy of pure pleasure. Financial Times 28 July 1988, p. 21 animalistý adjective (People and Society) Discriminating against animals; demeaning animals or denying them rights by the way one speaks, thinks, or behaves. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ist as used in racist or sexist to animal: compare ageist (see ageism).

History and Usage: Also very new and still rare, this sense of animalist is a British usage which promises to give rise to some considerable confusion by creating a situation in which the noun animalist and its corresponding adjective carry almost opposite meanings. Ultimately one or other sense must surely survive at the expense of the other--if indeed either catches on. Animal rights campaigners on Merseyside are urging parents and teachers to stop children using 'animalist' expressions, which they claim demean certain creatures. Daily Telegraph 27 Oct. 1989, p. 5 animatronics noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) The technique of constructing robots which look like animals, people, etc. and which are programmed to perform lifelike movements to the accompaniment of a pre-recorded soundtrack. Etymology: Formed by combining the first three syllables of animated with the last two of electronics to make a blend. History and Usage: The idea of animatronics (which originally had the even more complicated name audio-animatronics, now a trade mark) was developed by Walt Disney during the sixties for use at the World's Fair and later for Disneyland and other theme parks. The movements and gestures of the robots (each of which may be called an animatron or an animatronic) are extremely lifelike, but because they are pre-programmed they cannot be responsive or interactive: for this reason, animatronics has been described as being 'like television with the screen removed'. During the eighties, animatronics became more widely known as the theme park idea and the robotics technology were exported from the US to other parts of the world. Although it looks plural in form, animatronics always takes a singular agreement when it refers to the technique; plural agreement indicates that it is being used for a group of the robots themselves. The adjective used to describe the technology or the robots is animatronic. 'How-about-some-you'd-pay-twice-as-much-for-anywhere-else,'

yells Stein, his mouth seeming to move independently of the words, like one of those eerie Animatronic Disney robots. Forbes 12 Nov. 1979, p. 177 Sally Animatronics Pty Ltd has set up shop in Sydney to capitalise on what it perceives to be a boom market in Australia...--the production of lifelike robots for theme parks, exhibitions and museums. The robots, known as animatronics, were made famous by Disneyland...Designing an animatronic figure is a difficult process. The Australian 24 Nov. 1987, p. 58 The animals and acrobats of the popular entertainment will give way to a Disney-style 'animatronic' show, part of a œ17.5-million plan to revamp the Tower. The Times 28 Sept. 1990, p. 17 antibody-positive adjective (Health and Fitness) Having had a positive result in a blood test for the Aids virus HIV; at risk of developing Aids. Etymology: Formed by compounding; having a positive test for antibodies to HIV. Long before Aids, antibody-positive was in technical use for the result of any blood test for antibodies to a virus; it is only in popular usage that it has become specialized almost exclusively to the Aids sense. History and Usage: This sense of antibody-positive arose during the mid eighties, when fear of Aids was at its height and much publicity was given to it. Since infection with HIV could precede the onset of any Aids symptoms by a period of years, and only some of those who were tested positive would in fact develop symptoms at any time, health officials emphasized the need to avoid over-reacting to a positive test and tried (with varying degrees of success) to prevent discrimination against those who were known to be antibody-positive. The adjective for

a person found not to have been infected or a test with a negative result is antibody-negative, but this is less commonly found in popular sources. Without testing facilities at, say, clinics for sexually transmitted diseases, 'high-risk' donors might give blood simply to find out their antibody status (and possibly transmit the virus while being antibody-negative). New Statesman 27 Sept. 1985, p. 14 This longstanding concentration on the clinical manifestations of AIDS rather than on all stages of HIV infection (i.e., from initial infection to seroconversion, to an antibody-positive asymptomatic stage, to full-blown AIDS) has had the...effect of misleading the public. Susan Sontag Aids & its Metaphors (1989), p. 31 anti-choice adjective Sometimes written antichoice (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) Especially in US English, opposed to the principle of allowing a woman to choose for herself whether or not to have an abortion; a derogatory synonym for pro-life (see under pro-). Etymology: Formed by adding the prefix anti- in the sense 'against' to choice. History and Usage: The whole issue of abortion has been an extremely contentious one in US politics during the past fifteen years. The term anti-choice arose in the second half of the seventies as a label applied to pro-life campaigners by those who had fought for women's rights in the US and resented the erosion of their work by the anti-abortion lobby. As such it is deliberately negative in form (supporters of the rights of the unborn child would describe themselves in more positive terms such as pro-life or right-to-life). Although abortion has also been an important issue in the UK in the eighties, the term anti-choice has hardly been used in British sources until quite

recently. She said there are at least three races in the state where a clear anti-choice incumbent is being opposed by a strong pro-choice challenger. San Francisco Chronicle 26 June 1990, section B, p. 4 anti-lock adjective (Science and Technology) Of the brakes of a car or other vehicle: set up so as to prevent locking and skidding when applied suddenly; especially in anti-lock brake (or braking) system (ABS), a patent system which allows sudden braking without any locking of the wheels. Etymology: Formed by adding the prefix anti- in the sense 'preventing' to the verb stem lock. History and Usage: Anti-lock braking was developed in the sixties from a similar system which had been applied to aeroplanes (under the name wheel-slide protection system). The first application to motor vehicles was Lockheed's Antilok (a trade mark); at first it was used mainly for heavy trucks and the like. The term began to appear frequently in car advertising in the early eighties, when the system became generally available on private cars (either as an optional extra or a standard feature), and was used as a strong marketing point. The system works by momentarily releasing the brakes and freeing the locked wheel as often as necessary to avoid skid. Anti-lock is occasionally used on its own as a noun as a shortened form of anti-lock brake system. Unlike car systems, the motorcycle ABS does not allow full application of the brakes while cornering. Daily Mirror (Sydney) 21 Oct. 1988, p. 111 An anti-lock brake system is available. This amazing sports sedan also has a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty that's good for 3 years. Life Fall 1989, p. 85

antivirus (Science and Technology) see vaccine 1.11 Aqua Libra...

Aqua Libra noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) The trade mark of a health drink containing spring water, fruit juices, and a number of other ingredients, which is promoted as an aid to proper alkaline balance and good digestion. Etymology: Latin aqua 'water' and libra 'balance': literally 'water balance' (compare balance). History and Usage: Aqua Libra was launched under this name in 1987, at a time when there was a fashion for non-alcoholic drinks, and many smart executives favoured mineral water (see designer). Aqua completely free of alcohol and I like it because it is not as sweet as, say Perrier and orange juice. Financial Times 31 Dec. 1988, Weekend FT, p. IX The smart set in England this season is drinking Aqua Libra. The pale-gold beverage is a blend of sparkling water, passion fruit juice and apple juice, seasoned with sesame, sunflower, melon, tarragon and Siberian ginseng. Forbes 25 Dec. 1989, p. 48 Aquarobics noun Sometimes written aquarobics or aquaerobics (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) The trade mark of a fitness programme, including a form of aerobics, in which the exercises are done in a shallow swimming pool. Etymology: Formed by substituting the Latin word aqua 'water'

for the first syllable of aerobics. History and Usage: Aquarobics was developed by Georgia Kerns and Judy Mills in the US in 1980 and registered there as a trade mark. By the late eighties it had spread to the UK and was becoming a popular alternative to aerobics, being promoted especially as a form of exercise suitable for people with physical disabilities or those recovering from operations. The movable floor can be lowered from 1.5 feet to 10 feet and is used for such water exercise classes as aquarobics and aquafitness. Business First of Buffalo 9 Mar. 1987, p. 30 Many...handicapped people said how beneficial the Aquarobics Exercises had been. Keep Fit Autumn 1989, p. 7 1.12 arb...


noun (Business World) In financial jargon, a dealer in stocks who takes advantage of differing values in different markets to make money; especially on the US stock exchange, a dealer in the stocks of companies facing take-over bids. Etymology: A colloquial shortened form of arbitrageur, a French word borrowed into English in the late nineteenth century for any stock dealer who makes his money from buying stock in one market and selling in another. History and Usage: Although the practice of arbitrage (the simultaneous buying and selling of large quantities of stock in different markets so as to take advantage of the price difference) is well established--it dates from the late nineteenth century--the word arbitrageur was not shortened to arb in print until Wall Street risk arbitrageurs started buying up large quantities of stock in companies facing take-over bids in the late seventies. These take-overs attracted considerable

media interest, and the word arb started to appear frequently in the financial sections of newspapers from about the beginning of the eighties. For a start you often have to make use of the 'arbs', very useful gentlemen indeed in a bid battle. Sunday Telegraph 25 Mar. 1984, p. 19 It should have been the risk arbitrageurs' finest year...Instead, in the wake of archrival Ivan F. Boesky's admission of insider trading, the arbs are being battered. Business Week 8 Dec. 1986, p. 36 ARC

(Health and Fitness) see Aids

aromatherapy noun Sometimes in the form aromatotherapy (Health and Fitness) A complementary therapy which makes use of essential oils and other plant extracts to promote a person's health, general well-being, or beauty. Etymology: Actually borrowed from French aromath‚rapie, although the formation of the English word is self-explanatory: therapy based on aromatic oils. History and Usage: Aromatherapy was promoted by the French chemist Ren‚-Maurice Gattefoss‚ in the thirties, but was not widely taken up in English-speaking countries until the seventies, when the search began for natural remedies to replace the increasingly intrusive techniques of traditional medicine. There was nothing new, of course, in the use of plant extracts for medicinal purposes; it was the therapeutic effect of inhaling the aromatic oils or massaging them into the skin that Gattefoss‚ claimed to have discovered anew. During the eighties, when alternative therapies proliferated and there was a premium on the use of natural ingredients, aromatherapy graduated from fringe status to a reasonably respected technique, especially for the relief of stress-related symptoms. A practitioner of aromatherapy is called an aromatherapist; the adjective used to

describe an oil which has some use in aromatherapy is aromatherapeutic. Today in Britain most therapists and their clients use aromatherapy as a form of relaxation with some benefits to minor medical conditions. Here's Health June 1988, p. 89 For details of a qualified aromatherapist in your area contact the International Federation of Aromatherapists. Prima Aug. 1988, p. 74 artificial intelligence (Science and Technology) see AI ARV

(Health and Fitness) see HIV

1.13 asset


noun (Business World) The first word of a number of compounds fashionable in the business and financial world, including: asset card, a US name for the debit card (see card°); asset management, the active management of the assets of a company so as to optimize the return on investments; the job of an asset manager; asset-stripping, the practice of selling off the assets of a company (especially one which has recently been taken over) so as to make maximum profit, but without regard for the company's future; the activity of an asset-stripper. Etymology: The word assets, which originally came from Anglo-French assets (modern French assez enough) was reinterpreted as a plural noun with a singular asset by the nineteenth century; however, it was only in the late twentieth century that it acquired compounds based on this singular form.

History and Usage: All three compounds entered the language through US business usage in the mid seventies; asset-stripping had been practised since the fifties, but did not become widely known by this name until the seventies. Asset management and asset-stripping have been widely used in the UK during the eighties, even moving into non-technical usage. By the end of the decade, though, asset-stripping had become an unfashionable name for an activity which financiers now preferred to call unbundling: see unbundle. Guinness Peat's chief executive...reckons that institutions in the post Big Bang City will take one of three forms--bankers, traders or asset managers. Investors Chronicle 1 Nov. 1985, p. 54 The solution...--moving the $2 billion asset card business to...South Dakota--ushered in a new era in interstate banking. US Banker Mar. 1986, p. 42 One of the large mutual fund families...offers not only a variety of funds but an asset management account that would give you a monthly record of all transactions, including reinvestment of dividends. Christian Science Monitor 20 Feb. 1987, section B, p. 2 A more relevant description of Hanson's strategy would be asset-mining rather than asset-stripping; that is, the development of undervalued assets for hidden value. National Westminster Bank Quarterly Review May 1987, p. 27 They were returning...from visiting a foundry in Derby that had been taken over by asset-strippers. David Lodge Nice Work (1988), p. 154 1.14 ATB...


(Lifestyle and Leisure) see mountain bike


abbreviation (Business World) Short for automated teller machine, a machine which carries out banking transactions automatically. (Usually known colloquially in the UK as a cashpoint or cash dispenser, although it may be capable of carrying out transactions other than cash dispensing.) Etymology: The initial letters of automated (or automatic ) teller machine. History and Usage: The full term automated teller machine was first used in the mid seventies, when the machines were put into mass operation in US banks; by 1976 this had been abbreviated to ATM, which has remained the standard term for the increasingly versatile machines in the US as well as Australia and other English-speaking countries. In the UK, they were available from the middle of the seventies but not used by the mass of the British public until the mid eighties. Consequently, the name ATM has tended to be used mostly in official circles, while cash dispenser, cash machine, and cashpoint have been the more popular names. Even though the machines are now capable of registering deposits, providing statements, etc., it seems unlikely that ATM will become the regular term in the UK as well. Bill payments and loan repayments can be made through ATMs...80 per cent of all ATM transactions were withdrawals, 10 per cent were inquiries and 10 per cent were deposits. Sunday Mail Magazine (Brisbane) 12 Oct. 1986, p. 16 Need cash at midnight? Hit the ATM. Life Fall 1989, p. 49 See also cash dispenser

1.15 audio-animatronics...

audio-animatronics (Science and Technology) see animatronics autogenic training noun (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) A relaxation technique in which the patient is taught a form of self-hypnosis and biofeedback as a way of managing stress. Etymology: A translation of the German name, das autogene Training. Autogenic, an adjective which has been used in English since the late nineteenth century, literally means 'self-produced'. It is not the training that is self-produced, though; autogenic training is designed to teach people how to produce a feeling of calm and well-being in themselves in stressful circumstances. A more accurate (though long-winded) name would be training in autogenic relaxation. History and Usage: Autogenic training was invented in Germany and first popularized by psychiatrist and neurologist Johannes Schultz from the thirties until the fifties. It is the first of three stages in a method which is known in its entirety as autogenic therapy. Although it has reputedly been used by East German athletes for decades, it only became widely practised outside Germany in the seventies and eighties. The technique is particularly useful for athletes because it offers the possibility of bringing about positive changes in one's own physical state (such as lowering blood pressure or reducing heart-rate). Autogenics is an alternative name for autogenic therapy or autogenic training; although plural in form, this noun (like aerobics) can take singular or plural agreement. A new study indicates that autogenics--a form of mental press-ups--are as good for reducing physical exertions. She July 1985, p. 115 Liz Ferris uses autogenic training with athletes. This discipline is designed to help switch off the body's

stress mechanisms. Observer 6 May 1990, p. 21 automated teller machine (Business World) see ATM 1.16 aware...


adjective (Environment) (People and Society) Of a person, social group, etc.: fully informed about current issues of concern in a particular field. Of a product: designed, manufactured, or marketed in such a way as to take account of current concerns and attitudes. (Often with a preceding adverb indicating the field of concern, as ecologically or environmentally aware, socially aware, etc.) Etymology: Formed by increasingly elliptical use of the adjective: first, people were described as being aware of certain issues, then they were simply described as socially (etc.) aware, and finally their quality of awareness was ascribed to the products which resulted from their concerns. History and Usage: People have been described as socially or politically aware since the early seventies; as the green movement gained momentum in the late seventies and early eighties it became increasingly important to be ecologically or environmentally aware as well. The adjective started to be applied to things as well as people in the early eighties; this usage remains limited in practice to environmentally aware products and activities and sometimes appears to mean only that some part of the profit on the sales is to be donated to a green cause. Most of the machines described as being 'environmentally aware' will also cost you over œ400. Which? Jan. 1990, p. 49 The main dessert component was one of the few ecologically aware trademarked foods, the 'Rainforest

Crunch' ice cream made by Ben & Jerry's, which donates some of the profits from this flavor to a rain forest preservation fund. Los Angeles Times 21 June 1990, section E, p. 8 awesome adjective (Youth Culture) In North American slang (especially among young people): marvellous, great, stunningly good. Etymology: Awesome originally meant 'full of awe', but by the end of the seventeenth century could also be used in the sense 'inspiring awe, dreadful'. The apparent reversal of meaning that has now taken place started through a weakening of the word's meaning during the middle decades of the twentieth century to 'staggering, remarkable'; this was then further weakened and turned into an enthusiastic term of approval in the eighties. History and Usage: Within the youth culture, terms of approval come into fashion and go out again quite rapidly. After becoming frequent in its weakened sense of 'mind-boggling' during the sixties and seventies, awesome was taken up in the eighties as one of the most fashionable words of general approval among young Americans. In particular it was associated with the speech of preppies and the New York smart set, and often seemed to be part of a fixed phrase, preceded by totally. Surprisingly, it has remained popular among young people into the nineties, and has spread outside the US to Canada and Australia. It has been used in British English in this sense too, but really only in caricatures of US speech. Stuck in a rut...the kid was at the end of his rope when out of the blue... kaboom...'Awesome!! The Acclaim remote for Nintendo!' Captain America Nov. 1989, p. 7 Roxanne Shante is quite simply the baddest sister around, and teamed with Marley Marl at the mixing desk she is awesome. Number One 8 Nov. 1989, p. 43

That night I freebased a fractal of crack and blissed out on E. It was awesome. It was ace. It was wicked, bad and def. It was twenty quid. OUCH! Blitz Dec. 1989, p. 130 1.17 Azeri...


noun and adjective Sometimes written Azari (People and Society) noun: A member of a Turkic people of the USSR and Iran, living mainly in Azerbaijan, Armenia, and northern Iran; an Azerbaijani. Also, their language. adjective: Of or belonging to this people or their language. Etymology: The Turkish form (azerŒ) of what was originally a Persian word for fire; the place-name Azerbaijan is a compound meaning 'fire-temple'. Azeri is apparently the preferred form among those of Azeri ethnic origin, since it preserves a distinction between the Turkic people and anyone who lives in Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani can mean either). History and Usage: Although used in ethnographical and linguistic works since at least the last century, Azeri was not a word that the average reader of English newspapers would have recognized until the late eighties. Then ethnic unrest on the border between the Armenian and Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republics was widely reported in the newspapers. Since the trouble was partly caused by the fact that large numbers of ethnic Armenians lived within the borders of the Azerbaijan SSR and Azeris in the Armenian SSR, it was necessary for journalists to make the distinction between the inhabitant of Azerbaijan (an Azerbaijani) and the Azeri. At least two civilians, one Armenian and one Azeri, attacked Armenian homes...Azeri mobs had burned 60 houses...Three Azeris were shot and killed by troops. Observer 27 Nov. 1988, p. 23


abbreviation (Health and Fitness) Short for azidothymidine, a drug used in the treatment of Aids to stop the virus HIV from replicating itself within the patient's body; now officially known as Zidovudine. Etymology: The first two letters of azido- combined with the initial letter of thymidine. History and Usage: Azidothymidine was developed in the US during the mid seventies, before Aids became a problem, but was always intended as a retrovirus inhibitor. When HIV was identified as the probable cause of Aids in the mid eighties, its applicability to this virus was tested and it was found that it could prolong the life of Aids patients by preventing the virus from copying itself and so reducing the patients' susceptibility to infections. This discovery led to its being promoted in the press as a 'wonder drug' and even as a cure for Aids, although its testers continued to emphasize the fact that it was only capable of slowing down the development of the disease. Once the drug was in use for treating Aids, the name azidothymidine was usually abbreviated to AZT. This is still the name by which the drug is known colloquially, despite the fact that its official name has been changed to Zidovudine. The company has been sharply criticized for the cost of AZT, and recently cut the price by 20 per cent. An adult with AIDS now pays about $6,500 a year for the drug. New York Times 26 Oct. 1989, section A, p. 22

2.0 B

2.1 babble...

-babble combining form The jargon or gobbledegook that is characteristic of the subject, group, etc. named in the first part of the word:

ecobabble (Environment), environmental jargon; especially, meaningless green jargon designed to make its user sound environmentally aware; Eurobabble (Politics), the jargon of European Community documents and regulations; psychobabble (People and Society), language that is heavily influenced by concepts and terms from psychology; technobabble (Science and Technology), technical jargon, especially from computing and other high-technology areas. Etymology: The noun babble means 'inarticulate or imperfect speech, especially that of a child': the implication here is that these jargon-ridden forms of the language sound like so much nonsense to those who are not 'in the know'. In these words babble has been added on to the combining form of ecological etc. like a suffix: compare the earlier use of -speak in this way, after George Orwell's Newspeak and Oldspeak in the novel 1984. History and Usage: Psychobabble was coined in the US in the mid seventies, when various forms of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy were fashionable and the terms of these subjects were often bandied about by laypeople who only partly understood them. In 1977, Richard Rosen devoted a whole book to the subject of Americans who used this language of analysis. It was not long before other forms using -babble started to appear in the language: Eurobabble arrived soon after Britain's entry into the EC and ecobabble followed in the mid eighties as the green movement gained momentum. Is the environmental hoopla resonating through the halls of American business 'mere corporate ecobabble intended to placate the latest group of special-interest loonies'? Los Angeles Times 1 Feb. 1990, section E, p. 1 No matter that the Kohl-Mitterrand accords might amount to no more than Eurobabble. They, and many British voters, see a Continental future in which ever more

business is ordained without British involvement. The Times 27 Apr. 1990, p. 13 baby boomer (People and Society) see boomer baby buster (People and Society) see buster Bach

proper noun (Health and Fitness) In Bach (or Bach's) flower remedies (sometimes simply Bach remedies): a complementary therapy related to homoeopathy, in which a number of preparations of intestinal bacteria are used to relieve emotional states which (according to the inventor of the remedies, Edward Bach) underlie many physical illnesses. Etymology: The name of Edward Bach combined with flower remedies (because the preparations are made from intestinal flora). History and Usage: Dr Edward Bach (1886-1936) was a Harley Street specialist who became interested in homoeopathy and developed the remedies as his own contribution to the discipline. According to his theory, the mind and body can be in a positive state (ease) or degenerate into a negative one (disease). He developed 38 different remedies, each designed to produce the positive state of ease for a particular personality type. Bach flower remedies were not widely known or used until the middle of the eighties, when they suddenly became fashionable, perhaps as a result of the general upsurge of interest in homoeopathy and alternative therapies at this time. The key to the Bach Remedies is that they are chosen not for the symptoms of the illness, but for the underlying emotional state of the client. Out from the Core Feb. 1986, p. 14

backward masking noun (Music)

A technique in music recording in which a disguised message is included in such a way as to be audible only when the disc is spun backwards, although it may allegedly be perceived subliminally during normal playing. Also, the message itself. Etymology: Formed by compounding: masking a message that has to be played backwards to be heard. In psychology, backward masking is a technical term used since the sixties to mean 'disruption of a stimulus by a second, similar stimulus which closely follows it'. History and Usage: The idea of hiding a backward message on a rock record was first tried by the Beatles as long ago as the sixties, but the term backward masking only became widely known during the early eighties as a result of attempts by Christian fundamentalist groups to have the practice banned. They claimed that a number of rock groups were including satanic messages on their records using this technique, and that these messages had a subliminal effect on the listener. In parts of the US, legislation was passed in the mid eighties making warning notices compulsory on all records carrying backward masking, and by the early nineties one rock band had even been sued (unsuccessfully) for compensation after two teenagers committed suicide while listening to a record said to contain hidden messages. In the last two years, Styx has been targeted by fundamentalist religious groups for the 'backward masking' of satanic messages on its albums. New York Times 27 Mar. 1983, section 2, p. 27 bad

adjective (Youth Culture) In young people's slang, especially among Blacks in the US: excellent, spectacular, full of good qualities. Etymology: A reversal of meaning: compare wicked and the earlier use of evil in this sense. History and Usage: This sense of bad originated among Black jazz musicians in the US in the twenties and by the seventies had spread into more general use among US Blacks. It was taken

up by the young in general during the eighties as a favourite term of approval, especially preceded by the adverb well: anything that was described as well bad had really gained the highest accolade. Its use among White British youngsters is an example of the spread of Black street slang as a cult language in the late eighties, with the popularity of hip hop culture etc. When used in this sense, bad has the degrees of comparison badder and baddest rather than worse and worst. We ran into some of the baddest chicks, man, we partied, we had a nice time. Gene Lees Meet Me at Jim & Andy's (1988), p. 203 Roxanne Shante is quite simply the baddest sister around, and teamed with Marley Marl at the mixing desk she is awesome. Number One 8 Nov. 1989, p. 43 bad-mouth transitive verb Also written badmouth (People and Society) In US slang (especially among Blacks): to abuse (someone) verbally; to put down or 'rubbish' (a person or thing), especially by malicious gossip. Etymology: The verb comes from the Black slang expression bad mouth (a literal translation of similar expressions in a number of African and West Indian languages), which originally meant 'a curse or spell'. History and Usage: The earliest use of bad-mouth as a verb in print is an isolated wartime use by James Thurber in 1941, although it was almost certainly in spoken use before this. By the sixties it had become fairly common in US Black English, but it was not until the late seventies that it acquired any currency in British slang. In the eighties it started to appear in respectable journalistic sources without quotation marks or any other sign of slang status. The corresponding verbal noun bad-mouthing is also common. The dealing fraternity and the auctioneers, despite the fact that they never cease bad-mouthing each other, are

mutually dependent. The Times 16 Nov. 1981, p. 10 Jo-Anne was a bitter enemy who could be relied on to bad-mouth her at every opportunity. Pat Booth Palm Beach (1986), p. 180 bag people plural noun (People and Society) Homeless people who live on the streets and carry their possessions in carrier bags. Etymology: Formed by compounding (people whose main characteristic is the bags they carry) after the model of bag lady (see below). A tramp who carries his personal effects in a bag has been called a bagman in Australian English since the end of the nineteenth century. History and Usage: The earliest references to bag people come from New York City in the seventies, and are in the form bag lady (sometimes written baglady) or shopping-bag lady; at that time it was mostly elderly homeless women who piled their belongings into plastic carrier bags and lived on the streets. By the mid eighties both the phenomenon and the term had spread to other US cities and to the UK, and sensitivity to sexist language had produced bag person along with its plural form bag people. They even had a couple of black-clad bagladies sitting silently on straight chairs by the door. Martin Amis Money (1984), p. 105 Peterson saw The Avenue's funky charm and its cast of misfits as inspirations for his painting. 'I like the bag people and the alcoholics and the street people.' Los Angeles Times (Ventura County edition) 12 May 1988, section 9, p. 2

bagstuffer noun (Business World) (Lifestyle and Leisure) A piece of promotional literature handed out to shoppers in the streets or put into shopping bags at the checkout. Etymology: Formed by compounding: these leaflets are usually treated as so much waste paper with which to stuff one's bag. History and Usage: The bagstuffer (originally called a shopping-bag stuffer) was invented in the seventies in the US as a variation on the flyer. It became a widespread advertising ploy in the eighties, despite environmentalists' concern about wasteful use of paper and the destruction of rainforests. As the vote approaches, soda bottlers have begun airing television commercials against it. Supermarkets have opposed it through 'bagstuffer' leaflets in their stores. New York Times 23 Apr. 1982, section B, p. 1 You have to market your pharmacy to supermarket customers through coupons and bagstuffers; to the community through ads in flyers, and by offering free services. Supermarket News 15 May 1989, p. 43 bailout noun Sometimes written bail-out (Business World) Financial assistance given to a failing business or economy by a government, bank, etc. so as to save it from collapse. Etymology: The noun bailout is derived from the verbal phrase bail out, which has a number of distinct meanings. In this case, it is questionable whether it is a figurative use of the nautical sense 'to throw water out of (a boat) so as to prevent it from sinking' or the legal sense 'to get (a person) released from custody by providing the money needed as security (bail)'. History and Usage: The financial sense of bailout comes originally from the US, where the practice was first written

about in the seventies. Bailouts occurred with increasing frequency in other parts of the English-speaking world as the eighties progressed and the economic climate became more difficult even for large businesses; in the UK, though, the Conservative government of the eighties opposed government bailouts. The word bailout is often used attributively, with another noun following, especially in bailout loan and bailout plan. Governments have to avoid protectionism, bailouts that cannot work and subsidies just to keep industries alive. Toronto Star 28 May 1986, section A, p. 16 The executive branch is collaborating with Congress in putting part of the savings and loan bailout 'off-budget', thereby raising...the real cost of it. Washington Post 1 Oct. 1989, section D, p. 7 Baker day noun (People and Society) Colloquially in the UK, any one of several days in the normal school year statutorily set aside for in-service training of teachers and mainly intended as a preparation for teaching the national curriculum. Etymology: Named after Kenneth Baker, who was the Education Secretary responsible for introducing them. History and Usage: Compulsory in-service training for teachers was introduced in 1987 as part of a drive towards greater accountability in the teaching profession (see INSET); the five days set aside during the school year 1987-8 to prepare for the national curriculum had already been nicknamed Baker days by children and teachers alike by early 1988. Baker days were popular with children (for whom they meant an extra day off school), but did not meet with universal approval from teachers and parents. A Leeds delegate told the conference...the Baker Days were 'universally hated and resented' within staffrooms.

Daily Telegraph 18 Apr. 1990, p. 2 balance noun (Health and Fitness) In the language of alternative or complementary medicine: a harmonious relationship of body, mind, and spirit, which it is claimed can only be achieved by treating the whole person. Etymology: Balance has been used in the general figurative sense of 'equilibrium' for several centuries (its original and literal sense is 'scale(s)'); the recent movement towards therapies that take a holistic approach has meant that it is now commonly applied in this context, often without further explanation (not balance of anything, but simply balance). History and Usage: The rise of alternative therapies in general from 'fringe' to respectable complementary status during the eighties brought this use of balance to public notice; in particular, techniques such as biofeedback which aim to put the patient more in touch with the natural rhythms of life and increase self-awareness, as well as the growing New Age culture, have stressed this concept of balance as a central precept for health. This view has been further reinforced by the green movement, with its emphasis on maintaining ecological balance so as not to upset the natural rhythms there: human life and health are seen as inextricably linked with the balance of nature as a whole. Marketers and copywriters had noticed this development by the middle of the eighties, and had begun using the word balance liberally in descriptions of a wide variety of products, including food and drink, beauty preparations, etc. This 'holistic' perspective on the essence of healing presents us with a practical challenge: How can we best utilize the knowledge and services encompassed by Western medicine while maintaining a 'healthstyle' attuned to principles of order, balance, and self-reliance? Michael Blate Natural Healer's Acupressure Handbook (1978), p. viii The body is used as a source of ideas about 'wholeness', 'balance' and 'harmony', involving both the body and the

mind...Nature is deduced from the hypothesis of the instinct of the body for health. But health is only found by discovering an inner balance and harmony. Rosalind Coward The Whole Truth (1989; paperback ed. 1990), p. 32 balloon angioplasty (Health and Fitness) see angioplasty band

verb (Business World) (People and Society) To arrange (pay scales, taxes, interest rates, etc.) in graduated bands. Also as an adjective banded; noun banding. Etymology: A figurative application of the sense of the verb 'to mark with bands or stripes'; the noun has long had a corresponding figurative sense 'a range of values'. History and Usage: Although practised in areas such as income tax for a long time, the principle of banding became topical during the discussion of the community charge (' poll tax') in the UK in 1990, when pressure was put on the government to introduce a banded rate based on people's ability to pay; the new council tax proposed in 1991 included this feature. It was also applied to a practice among some local authorities in the UK of grouping children by ability, so as to ensure that all schools got at least some of the brighter children. This limited banding, which would need legislation, would be intended to respond to complaints about the unfairness of the lump-sum tax. Economist 31 Mar. 1990, p. 27 With Downing Street denying reports that Mrs Thatcher had herself now accepted that the poll tax was unfair, the Prime Minister has already rejected any plan for 'banding' the tax. Financial Times 28 Apr. 1990, section 1, p. 22

Band Aid (Music) (People and Society) see -Aid


noun (People and Society)

A fighting-dog specially bred for its strength and ferocity by crossing aggressive breeds such as the American pit bull-terrier, rottweiler, and various breeds of mastiff. Etymology: The word bandog has existed in the English language since the fifteenth century: originally, it was any dog that had to be tied up to guard a house or because of its ferocity (band in its historical sense 'fastening' combined with dog). Its use was soon generalized to cover any ferocious dog (such as a mastiff or bloodhound); the practice of breeding these cross-breeds for secret dog-fights has led to its being revived and specialized in meaning. History and Usage: The news that ferocious cross-breeds were being produced and used in the UK both for illegal dog-fighting and as a way of keeping police at bay while other crimes were committed was reported by the RSPCA in early 1990. This followed public concern about a number of attacks on children by rottweilers and other ferocious dogs which had become increasingly popular as pets. Legislation in May 1991 ensured that the most dangerous bandogs became banned dogs. The Kennel Club said yesterday it would discipline any member who rears bandogs--American pit bull terriers crossed with rottweilers, mastiffs or Rhodesian ridgebacks. Daily Telegraph 8 Mar. 1990, p. 3 bang

(Business World) see big bang

bankable adjective (Business World) (Lifestyle and Leisure) Certain to bring in a profit; good for the box office (said of a production which is sure to succeed or of a star whose name alone will ensure the success of the venture). Etymology: Formed by adding the adjectival suffix -able to bank. The adjective bankable already existed in the sense 'receivable at a bank'; this show-business use rests on a pun,

in that the producer can bank on a profit which in turn can be banked. History and Usage: Bankable has been used in this sense in Hollywood jargon since the fifties. During the seventies it increasingly featured in popular magazine articles about film-making and became popularized still further in the eighties by wider reporting of the processes which precede the actual making of a film. As the Hollywood-style hype was applied to other areas of the arts (writing, music, etc.), it became commonplace to read about bankable names in these fields as well. Sales of the chosen book may rocket. I say 'may' deliberately because I am not so sure how bankable all the shortlist are. Bookseller 20 Oct. 1984, p. 1705 Becoming highly bankable, Allen discovered, meant becoming instantly popular with incipient entrepreneurs. New Yorker 29 Apr. 1985, p. 61 Barbour noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) Short for Barbour jacket, the trade mark of a well-known brand of waxed jacket. This autumn [the shop] is developing a rather Sloane country image due to the run on its Barbours and Cricket jackets. Financial Times 10 Sept. 1983, section 1, p. 13 The Seventies brought introspection, and the fashion of 'me' emerged in the Thatcher Eighties. In 1989, clad in designer clothes and Barbour jacket, the student programmed a Filofax to ensure that no problems would frustrate the quest for that coveted job in the City. The Times 20 Jan. 1990, p. 36

bar-code noun and verb Also written barcode or bar code (Business World) (Science and Technology) noun: A machine-readable code consisting of a series of lines (bars) and spaces of varying width, used for stock control on goods for sale, library books, etc. transitive verb: To label (goods, etc.) with a bar-code. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a code based on the width of bars. History and Usage: The bar-code was invented as long ago as the early sixties and was quite widely used by public libraries for their book-issuing systems by the mid seventies. The code has to be 'read', and in the early days this was usually done using a light pen. With the introduction of computerized tills and EPOS during the eighties, bar-codes became seemingly ubiquitous on goods of all kinds, and a variety of types of bar-code reader could be seen (and heard bleeping) at the tills. By the early nineties the bar-code had been put to more inventive uses still: television-programme magazines published them on their pages so that videos could be programmed direct from the code, and scientists used them to label the subjects of their experiments (in one case, bar-codes were stuck to the hairs on the backs of hundreds of bees). The adjective used to describe goods which carry a bar-code is bar-coded; the practice of providing goods with them is bar-coding. Bar-code reader...comes with a sheet of bar codes...You set the timer by running the reader over the appropriate bar codes for day, time and channel required. Which? Sept. 1989, p. 450 The electronic supermarket check-out, which bleeped and flashed up the cost of items taken from the bar codes on the packets, also warranted some attention. Good Food Jan./Feb. 1990, p. 26 basically adverb

In short, putting it bluntly, actually. (Usually in speech and often used at the beginning of a sentence or clause.) Etymology: A weakened sense of the adverb, which originally meant 'essentially, fundamentally, at root'. The weakening arises as much from the way in which the word is used (a 'sentence' adverb) as from the context; the result is a word which in most cases is redundant, adding nothing to the sense and simply giving the speaker time to think. Purists object to it in much the same way as they do to hopefully used at the beginning of a clause. History and Usage: Although it had been in use in speech for some decades, it only became really fashionable to use basically in this almost meaningless way during the late seventies, when it took over from actually as a favourite 'filler'. The fashion may have been reinforced by the increased influence of the recorded television interview: the interviewee, anxious to reply succinctly enough to be sure of having the whole answer broadcast but also wanting to make it clear that this was not all that could be said on the subject, would prefix the reply with basically. Whether or not it once had a legitimate purpose, basically used in this way fast became a clich‚ and passed from spoken English into the written language as well. I'm not political, you know, basically I don't know the first thing about politics or economics or all that LSE-type crap, despite what you think. Stephen Gray Time of Our Darkness (1988), p. 142 'Basically I got served off the court,' she admitted. 'She served unbelievably well. I couldn't get the ball back in that last set.' Guardian 10 July 1989, p. 15 In a few cases, Western women who were told to report with their husbands to pick up their exit visas had to watch the men taken away by security officials, presumably adding to Saddam's human shield. 'They basically traded the husband for the visa,' said a Western diplomat.

Washington Post 2 Sept. 1990, section A, p. 1 basuco

Also written basuko, bazuco, or bazuko noun (Drugs)

A cheap, impure form of cocaine, made by mixing coca paste with a variety of other substances, which is extremely addictive when smoked for its stimulant effects. Etymology: A Colombian Spanish word; perhaps connected with Spanish basura 'sweepings, waste' (since the drug is made from the waste products of refined cocaine) or with bazucar 'to shake violently'. Another suggestion is that there have actually been two stages of borrowing here: first the English weapon-name bazooka was borrowed into Spanish, then it was applied figuratively to the drug (with its explosive effect), and finally the word was re-borrowed into English in a slightly altered form. History and Usage: Basuco is the South American equivalent of crack, and has been smoked in Latin American countries for some time. The drug first appeared in the English-speaking world in the mid eighties and at first was also known as little devil or Suzuki, but basuco now seems to be its established name. There's a big internal market; a lot of coke and basuko used by the street boys. Charles Nicholl The Fruit Palace (1985), p. 67 Police and drug enforcement agencies [in Florida] believed basuco had the potential to create a bigger problem than crack...The cost of using basuco was as little as $1 a dose. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 15 Dec. 1986, p. 6 While it takes two years of regular cocaine use to become addicted, it takes only a few weeks to become hooked on bazuko, a mind-blowing mix of coca base, marijuana and tobacco containing such impurities as petrol, ether and even sawdust.

The Times 14 Sept. 1987, p. 10 battlebus noun (Politics) A bus used as a mobile centre of operations by a politician during an election campaign. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a bus in which one goes into battle, figuratively speaking. History and Usage: The battlebus was a feature of the British general election campaign fought by the Liberal-SDP Alliance in 1983; the buses even bore the name battlebus on their sides. By the time of the next general election in 1987, the battlebus had become an established feature of election campaigning and was used by other parties as well. She said the message to Mrs Thatcher from the by-election was loud and clear: 'It's time to go.' Then, taking her own advice, she zoomed off in the Sylvia Heal Battlebus for a lightning victory lap around the constituency. Financial Times 24 Mar. 1990, p. 1 bazuco, bazuko (Drugs) see basuco 2.2 beat box...

beat box noun Also written beat-box or beatbox (Music) (Youth Culture) In colloquial use among musicians, a drum machine (an electronic device for producing a variety of drum-beats and percussion sounds as backing for music or rapping: see rap); hence a style of music with a throbbing electronic drum-beat which often also accompanies interludes of rapping. Also, another name for a ghetto blaster. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a box which produces the beat.

History and Usage: The beat box, which is essentially a percussion synthesizer, became a popular alternative to the conventional drum kit during the early eighties, when synthesized sounds in general opened up new possibilities for many bands. It was really the increased popularity of rap and its spread outside the Black music scene that led to the development of a distinct style of music called beat box by the mid eighties. A beat box is an expensive piece of equipment, so it is perhaps not surprising that some youngsters tried to imitate the sound without actually using a beat box; this led to the development of a new action noun beatboxing, the activity of making percussion noises like those of a beat box using only one's mouth and body. How do you compare an album like that to...the sparse beat-box music and intensely engaging call-and-response served up by today's leading rap group, Run-D.M.C.? New York Times 9 Jan. 1985, section C, p. 14 Booming out of beat boxes on the street and bounced to in aerobics classes, the 'Big' beat sounds like the next equal-play anthem for American women. Washington Post 19 Mar. 1985, section C, p. 1 They usurp rap and beatbox, scratching their own frequently wild guitar marks on top. Q Mar. 1989, p. 72 Beaujolais Nouveau noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) Beaujolais wine that is sold while still in the first year of a vintage. Etymology: French for 'new Beaujolais'. History and Usage: Beaujolais Nouveau was made commercially available in the early seventies, and, although it had been allowed no time to mature and in consequence struck some wine-lovers as very acidic, it proved an instant success. Its

popularity led to the development of a new sport in the hotel and catering world: the race to be the first to have the new year's vintage in stock. Some wine bars and restaurants even went to the lengths of having stocks flown in by helicopter so as to pip others at the post. As the eighties progressed, signboards saying 'The Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived' became a common sight on pavements outside these places in mid November. Beaujolais Primeur (literally 'early-season Beaujolais') is the correct term for Beaujolais sold during the first few months of the vintage (from mid November until the end of January), and is sometimes used interchangeably with Beaujolais Nouveau, but Beaujolais Nouveau is much better known in English. A wine shipper telephoned that he'd reserved me fifty cases of Beaujolais Nouveau for November 15th...I never waited for the Nouveau to be delivered but fetched it myself. Dick Francis Proof (1984), p. 76 becu bell

(Business World) see ecu noun In the British colloquial phrase give (someone) a bell: to ring (someone) up, to contact by telephone. Etymology: A variation on the theme of give (someone) a ring and give (someone) a tinkle, phrases which go back to the thirties. History and Usage: Although probably in use in spoken British English for some time, this phrase did not start to appear in print until the early eighties. When it did start to spread it was perhaps under the influence of such television series as Only Fools and Horses and Minder (both of which popularized the working-class speech of London's East End). Certainly at about that time it became a popular phrase in the youth press as a less formal way of saying 'ring up'. It is curious that it should have caught on in this way at a time when fewer and fewer telephones actually had bells; during the eighties telephone bells were largely replaced by electronic tones, warbles, chirps, etc.

DJ Sammon gave me a bell and wrote me a letter (thorough chap) about his shows. Rave! 6 Mar. 1990, p. 18 bells and whistles noun phrase (Science and Technology) In colloquial use in computing, additional facilities in a system, program, etc. which help to make it commercially attractive but are often not really essential; gimmicks. Etymology: An allusion to the old fairground organs, with their multiplicity of bells and whistles; the bells of a computer are actually a range of electronic bleeps. There are more than 600 microsystems on the market so it is hardly surprising that the manufacturers have taken to hanging a few bells and whistles on to their machines to get them noticed. Sunday Times 26 Aug. 1984, p. 49 belly-bag, belt-bag (Lifestyle and Leisure) see bum-bag and fanny pack best before date noun phrase (Lifestyle and Leisure) A date marked on a food package (usually preceded by the words 'best before') to show the latest time by which the contents can be used without risk of deterioration. Etymology: Formed by combining the statutory words best before with date: the date before which the food is in best condition. History and Usage: The use of best before dates was codified in the UK in 1980, when new food labelling regulations stipulated that perishable foods should carry some indication of their durability including the words best before and a date; very perishable foods must carry a sell-by date or some other indication of the shelf-life of the product within the store.

After outbreaks of salmonella poisoning and listeriosis at the end of the eighties, it was felt that for high-risk perishables best before was a rather ambiguous label, suggesting that the goods would be best consumed before the date given but could safely be eaten for some time afterwards (whereas in some cases this would actually have been quite dangerous). This led to the wider use of an unambiguous use-by date on foods most likely to cause illness if stored too long. The best before date has now become so commonplace that it has acquired a figurative use among City personnel: one's best before date is the age beyond which one will be considered past one's best by prospective employers. Date marking is now required on most pre-packed foods (with a few exceptions, such as frozen foods, wine and vinegar) unless they have a shelf-life of at least 18 months...This is expressed as either a best before date (day, month, year) [etc.] Maurice Hanssen The New E for Additives (1987), p. 17 Their colleagues in Eurobond dealing and corporate finance have 'sell by' and 'best before' dates (in most jobs, at age 35) as career markers. Observer 29 Mar. 1987, p. 51 Betamax noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) The trade mark of one of the two standard formats for video and videotapes; also abbreviated to Beta. Etymology: The name is not (as popularly supposed) derived from the Greek letter name beta, but from the Japanese word beta-beta 'all over' and English max (short for maximum: see max); however, the inventors were making conscious and deliberate use of the pun with Greek beta to create an English-sounding product name. History and Usage: The first home-video systems were developed by Sony in the sixties; the immediate predecessor of the Betamax was the U-Matic, developed in the late sixties. In order to create a smaller machine using smaller tapes, a new method of

recording was invented for the Betamax, known as beta or 'all over' recording because it did away with the tape structure of guard bands and empty spaces which had previously been employed, and instead used the whole area of the tape. The Sony Betamax video system was first available in the mid seventies, but at first it was not possible to buy pre-recorded cassettes in this format. However, the policy soon changed and by the mid eighties video rental had become an important market in which two formats competed: Betamax and VHS. VHS eventually became the standard format for home video, although Betacam, a derivative of Betamax, is used for television news-gathering worldwide. If you plan to watch a lot of pre-recorded films...there may be difficulties getting a wide choice on Beta; VHS versions are much more common. What Video Dec. 1986, p. 95 When Betamax was introduced, our first task was to help people understand why video systems were important in the home...We beat our brains, and finally came up with the phrase 'Time Shift'. We were explaining the concept...all over the world with such catch phrases as; 'For the first time, the world of TV is in your hands with Betamax', or 'Look at your TV just like a magazine'. Sony Corporation Betamax 15th Anniversary (1990), p. 8 beta test noun and verb (Science and Technology) noun: A test of an experimental product (such as computer software), carried out by an outside organization after alpha testing by the developer (see alpha test) is complete. transitive verb: To submit (a product) to a beta test. Etymology: Formed by compounding. Beta, the second letter of the Greek alphabet, has long been used to denote the second in a series; the beta test is the second test, carried out only after successful alpha testing.

History and Usage: For history see alpha test. A person whose job is to test software in this way for a separate developer is a beta-tester; the process is known as beta testing and the product at this stage of development is the beta-test version. Problem solving together with alpha and beta testing of new products require a minimum of 2 years experience. The Times 21 Mar. 1985, p. 39 2.3 bhangra

bhangra noun and adjective Also written Bhangra (Music) (Youth Culture) noun: A style of popular music mainly intended for dancing to, which fuses elements of Punjabi folk music with features of Western rock and disco music. adjective: Belonging to this style of music or the subculture surrounding it. Etymology: A direct borrowing from Punjabi bhangra, a traditional Punjabi folk dance associated with harvest. History and Usage: Bhangra music originated in the Asian community in the UK in the early eighties, when pop musicians with a Punjabi ethnic background started to experiment with Westernized versions of their parents' musical traditions. At first it was only performed for Asian audiences, but by the end of the eighties had attracted a more general following. It is sometimes called bhangra beat. This was not the middle of a feverish Saturday night, but a Wednesday mid-afternoon excursion for devotees of the Bhangra beat, the rhythm of the Punjabi pop...An up and coming group...turned in a performance which set the seemingly incompatible rhythmic stridency of funk and Bhangra dance to a compulsive harmony. Independent 30 June 1987, p. 12 This is a bhangra 'all-dayer', part of a booming

sub-culture that has sprung up around an English-born hybrid of Punjabi folk and Western rock music. Sunday Telegraph Magazine 22 May 1988, p. 36 2.4 bicycle moto-cross...

bicycle moto-cross (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) see BMX big bang noun Frequently written Big Bang (Business World) In financial jargon, the deregulation of the Stock Exchange in London on 27 October 1986. Hence, any far-reaching reform. Etymology: Big bang literally means 'a great explosion' and has been used since the forties to refer especially to the theory that the universe was formed as a result of a single huge explosion. Since the deregulation was to involve several significant changes in trading practices which would all be introduced at once, the whole process was likened to this explosive supposed moment of creation. History and Usage: The deregulation of the Stock Exchange resulted from a restrictive practices suit brought by the Office of Fair Trading against the Stock Exchange in 1978; this case was dropped after the Stock Exchange agreed, in 1983, to do away with minimum commissions. However, the abolition of these made it difficult for the Stock Exchange to maintain the distinction between stockbrokers and stock-jobbers, and it became clear that further changes would be needed. The term big bang was in use from about that time, as financiers discussed the respective merits of a phased introduction of the changes and a big bang approach. The main areas of change were the creation of a single category of broker-dealer to replace stockbrokers and stock-jobbers, the admission of institutions as members, and the introduction of a new electronic dealing system known as SEAQ (Stock Exchange Automatic Quotation System). Big bang is sometimes used without a preceding article ('after Big Bang', etc.); it is also sometimes abbreviated to bang, especially in post-bang, an adjective meaning 'belonging to the period after big bang'. Since the London big bang, the term has also been

used in a transferred sense, for example in discussions of EMU°, with reference to economic reforms in Eastern Europe, and even to describe the new financial basis of the Health Service in the UK. In the wake of the City's Big Bang, American and Japanese banks are chasing each other to occupy the few high-tech buildings. City Limits 19 Feb. 1987, p. 10 Less than three months after Big Bang, the start of the Solidarity-led government's package of strict austerity and radical market reforms, Poland is in ruins. Economist 24 Mar. 1990, p. 65 The scale of the 'big bang' reflects the Government's determination to push through far-reaching health reforms. Sunday Express 16 Sept. 1990, p. 5 See also market maker bike

noun In the British slang phrase on your bike (frequently written on yer bike): go away, push off, get away with you. Also, get on with it, 'pull your finger out'. Etymology: Originally a Cockney expression and typically graphic: the hearer should 'push off', and, in order to get away faster, should pedal, too. History and Usage: Although almost certainly in spoken use since the early sixties, the phrase on your bike did not start appearing in print at all frequently until the eighties, when it suddenly became a fashionable insult. It was probably made the more popular by a speech which Norman Tebbit (then UK Employment Secretary) made at the Conservative Party Conference in October 1981, pointing out that his father had not rioted in the 1930s when unemployed, but had 'got on his bike and looked for work'.

This speech was also the cause of some confusion in the meaning of the phrase: whereas before it had always been a ruder (but not obscene) way of telling someone to push off or indicating that you did not believe a word of what they were saying (the senses in which it continued to be used by those in the know), it was now taken up by the press as a favourite clich‚ to be used in stories about anyone who was unemployed, and acquired the secondary meaning 'get on with it, make an effort'. In this secondary sense it is sometimes used as an adjectival phrase rather than an exclamation, to describe the attitude which Tebbit's remark betrayed. The first ever Tory prime minister who truly believes in pull-yourselves-up-by-your-bootlaces, she wants upwardly mobile, self-helping, on-yer-bike meritocrats. Financial Times 12 Sept. 1984, p. 24 On your bike Jake, I said, this joke has gone far enough. Punch 16 Oct. 1985, p. 44 'Wally son, it's Pim.' 'On your bike. Pim's doing five in Durham.' Tom Barling The Smoke (1986), p. 115 Billygate (Politics) see -gate bimbo

noun (People and Society)

In media slang, an attractive but unintelligent young woman (especially one who has an affair with a public figure); a sexy female airhead. Etymology: This was originally a direct borrowing from Italian bimbo 'little child, baby'. The word was in use in English in other senses before this one developed (see below); in all of them the original Italian meaning has been lost, but in this case there may be some connection with the use of baby for a girlfriend, and possibly some influence from dumbo as well.

History and Usage: Bimbo first came into English in the early twenties, when it was used on both sides of the Atlantic (although mainly in the US) as a contemptuous term for a person of either sex; ironically, P. G. Wodehouse wrote in the forties about 'bimbos who went about the place making passes at innocent girls after discarding their wives'. By the end of the twenties it had developed the more specific sense of a stupid or 'loose' woman, especially a prostitute. During 1987, bimbo started to enjoy a new vogue in the media, this time without the implication of prostitution: journalists claimed that the bimbo was epitomized by young women who were prepared to 'kiss and tell', ending their affairs with the rich and famous by selling their stories to the popular press. In the US bimbos cost politicians their careers; Britain also had its own 'battle of the bimbos' in 1988, when the affairs of certain rich men were exposed and the lifestyle of the bimbo was discussed in court. The word started to acquire derivatives: a teenage bimbo came to be known as a bimbette and a male bimbo as a bimboy (but see also himbo), while having an affair with a bimbo was even described as bimbology in one paper. In the strict sense the bimbo exists on the fringes of pornography, and some cynics might say she has the mental capacity of a minor kitchen appliance. Independent 23 July 1988, p. 5 A gathering of playboys just wasn't a party unless there was at least one...scantily clad bimbette swimming around in a bathtub of shampoo. Arena Autumn/Winter 1988, p. 157 Actor Rob Lowe was at the Cannes Film Festival, expressing frustration with his reputation as the Brat Pack's leading bimboy. People 5 June 1989, p. 79 Still, Smith, and Gans are not bimbos and understandably bristle at accusations that they are chatty-cathies for their white male superiors.

New York Woman Nov. 1989, p. 60 bio-

combining form (Environment) (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) Part of the words biology and biological, widely used as the first element of compounds relating to biology or biotechnology; frequently used as a shortened form of biological(ly). Etymology: Formed by abbreviating biology and biological; in both words this part is ultimately derived from Greek bios 'life'. History and Usage: Compounds relating to 'life' have been formed on bio- in English for over three centuries, and even the ancient Greeks used it as a combining form. During the second half of the twentieth century, however, advances in biotechnology and the increasing interest in green issues caused a proliferation in popular language of compounds in these areas, alongside the continuing use of bio- in scientific terminology. Like eco-, bio- was particularly productive in the late sixties and early seventies, and many of the compounds which had been well known then came back into fashion during the eighties, often undergoing further development. The development of plastics and other synthetic products which were biodegradable, that is, those that would decompose spontaneously and hence not become an environmental hazard, led during the eighties to the verb biodegrade. Biomass, originally a biologists' term for the total amount of organic material in a given region, was later also used of fuel derived from such matter (also called biofuel, or, in the case of the mixture of methane and other gases produced by fermenting biological waste, biogas; this was burnt to produce what became known as bioenergy). By contrast, biofeedback, the conscious control of one's body by 'willing' readings on instruments (such as heart-rate monitors) to change, reappeared in the eighties as one of the techniques used in autogenic training. Computer scientists continued to speculate that micro-organisms could be developed that would function like the simple logic circuits of conventional microelectronics, thus paving the way for biocomputing with biochips. Biological warfare, a more disturbing application of biotechnology, became sufficiently familiar to be abbreviated as biowar. Concern about the effect of even peaceful technology on the biosphere (the

component of the environment consisting of living things) was expressed in the philosophy of biocentrism, in which all life, rather than just humanity, is viewed as important (much as in Gaia theory). Direct and sometimes violent opposition to such aspects of biological research as animal experimentation and genetic engineering was organized by biofundamentalists (see also animalist° and fundie). As a result of the Green Revolution, the public was made more aware of the threat posed by intensive cultivation of particular species to biodiversity, the richness of variety of the biosphere. Towards the end of the decade bio- began to be used indiscriminately wherever it had the slightest relevance, either frivolously or because of its advertising potential (just as biological had once been a glamorous epithet for washing powder). The prefix is sometimes even used as a free-standing adjective in this sense, meaning little more than 'biologically acceptable'. Examples include biobeer, biobottom (an 'eco-friendly nappy cover'), bio house, bio home, bioloo, bioprotein, and bio yoghurt. The term bio-chip, coined only about four years ago, already means different things to different people. In the United States, where the word arose, researchers generally use it to refer to chips in which the silicon transistors would be replaced by single protein-like molecules. Such a molecule could be stable in one of at least two different forms of...charge distribution, depending on its external environment. But some scientists, particularly in Europe, now seem to use bio-chip more widely to refer to any 'smart' system small enough to interact with a cell. The Age (Melbourne) 28 Nov. 1983, p. 5 Even medical insurance companies are now beginning to recognize the value of a veritable A-to-Z of 'holistic' therapies..., including acupuncture, biofeedback and chiropractic. John Elkington & Julia Hailes The Green Consumer Guide (1988; paperback ed. 1989), p. 260

The bio-diversity campaign is an attempt to bring the seriousness of the global situation to the attention of people in all walks of life. The Times 31 Mar. 1989, p. 5 German architect Joachim Ebler has designed a range of 'bio homes'...The buildings are made with timbers from sustainable sources and are not treated with chemical preservatives. Green Magazine Oct. 1989, p. 14 Therapeutic properties...are ascribed to the presence of the live lactic acid bacteria, particularly in the bio-yoghurts, said to promote the friendly bacteria in the gut which can be affected by the overuse of antibiotics. Healthy Eating Feb./Mar. 1990, p. 37 The 43-year-old Californian has chosen to have a second child because her teenage daughter has leukaemia and will die without a transplant of bone marrow...Biofundamentalists claim emotively that she wants to use the baby as 'a spare part'...Bone marrow will be extracted for implanting into her 17-year-old sister. Daily Telegraph 9 Apr. 1990, p. 16 biotechnology noun (Science and Technology) The branch of technology concerned with the use of living organisms (usually micro-organisms) in industrial, medical, and other scientific processes. Etymology: Formed from the combining form bio- and technology. History and Usage: Micro-organisms are capable of carrying out many chemical and physical processes which it is not possible or economic to duplicate: varieties of cheese and wine, for

example, are given their distinctive flavours and appearances by the action of bacteria and fungi, and antibiotics such as penicillin could originally only be produced from cultures of particular micro-organisms. During the seventies and eighties the increasing sophistication of genetic engineering, in particular recombinant DNA technology, made it possible for a biotechnologist to 'customize' micro-organisms capable of producing important or useful substances on a large scale. Insulin, interferon, and various hormones and antibodies have been produced by this method, as well as foodstuffs such as mycoprotein. Strains of bacteria which digest oil spills and toxic wastes have also been developed. The commercial importance of biotechnology was recognized in 1980 when the US Supreme Court ruled that such genetically engineered micro-organisms could be patented: during the eighties a number of firms appeared which specialized in the manufacture of substances by these means. Such a business is known as a biotech company or biotech. The potential of these companies as investments was recognized in 1982 by the editors of the science journal Nature, who began publishing performance statistics for the stocks of some representative US companies operating in the field. Conventional brewing and wine making are not usually regarded as biotechnology but many other fermentation processes are. The Times 9 June 1983, p. 22 To an extent, the biotech companies have taken over from the high-techs as the main vehicle for investors' 'risk' dollars. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 30 June 1986, p. 28 A biotechnologist in London has found a way to make the natural stimulant which triggers the 'immune system' of plants. New Scientist 23 June 1988, p. 48 2.5 black economy...

black economy noun (Business World) The underground economy of earnings which are not declared for tax purposes, etc. Etymology: Formed by applying the black of black market to the economy. History and Usage: The black economy was first so named at the end of the seventies, when it was revealed that undeclared earnings accounted for an increasing proportion of the national income in several Western countries. The trend continued throughout the eighties. Part-time jobs have tended to be filled either by new entrants to the workforce, or in the 'black economy'--by people on the dole who do not declare their earnings. The Times 24 June 1985, p. 17 Black Monday (Business World) In the colloquial language of the stock-market, the day of the world stock-market crash which began in New York on Monday 19 October 1987 and resulted in great falls in the values of stocks and shares on all the world markets. Etymology: Any day of the week on which something awful happens can be given the epithet black; the name Black Monday had, in fact, already been used over the centuries for a number of Mondays, notably (since the fourteenth century) for Easter Monday. Black Tuesday was a term already in use on Wall Street to refer to Tuesday 29 October 1929, the worst day of the original Wall Street crash. History and Usage: Within days of the dramatic drop in share prices which started in New York and sent panic all over the world, the financial press was describing the event as Black Monday. The crash had important economic consequences in several countries, so Black Monday is likely to remain a meaningful financial nickname for some time.

The Dow Jones, once up 712 points for the year, drops 508 points on Black Monday. Paper losses total $500 billion. Life Fall 1989, p. 28 Many institutions and individual investors have shied away from stock-index futures, blaming them for speeding the stock market crash on Black Monday two years ago. Wall Street Journal 17 Oct. 1989, section C, p. 29 See also meltdown black tar noun (Drugs) In the slang of drug users, an exceptionally pure and potent form of heroin from Mexico. Also known more fully as black-tar heroin or abbreviated to tar. Etymology: Formed by compounding: this form of heroin is dark (black) in colour and has the consistency of tar; tar had also been a slang word for opium since the thirties. History and Usage: Black tar first became known under this name to drug enforcement officials in Los Angeles in 1983 (though it may in fact be the same thing as black stuff, slang for brown Mexican heroin since the late sixties); its abuse had become a serious and widespread problem in various parts of the US by 1986. It is made and distributed only from opium-poppy crops in Mexico using a process which makes it at the same time very pure and relatively cheap. Black tar has a large number of other slang names, including those listed in the Economist quotation given below. DEA officials blame the low price of 'black tar' for forcing down other heroin prices, causing the nation's first general increase in overall heroin use in more than five years. Capital Spotlight 17 Apr. 1986, p. 22

Black tar, also known as bugger, candy, dogfood, gumball, Mexican mud, peanut butter and tootsie roll...started in Los Angeles and has since spread to 27 states...What makes black tar heroin unique is that it has a single, foreign source--Mexico--and finds its way into Mexican-American distribution networks, often via illegal immigrants. Economist 7 June 1986, p. 37 blanked adjective (Youth Culture) In young people's slang: ignored, cold-shouldered, out on a limb. Etymology: This is presumably a figurative use: a person who is blanked apparently no longer exists--he or she might as well be a blank space. History and Usage: This usage seems to have originated as a verb blank (someone or something) in the world of crime several decades ago (compare blank out, meaning literally 'to rub out'). As a verb it was apparently used by both criminals and policemen; in his book The Guvnor (1977), Gordon F. Newman uses it several times, for example 'He also blanked Scotch Pat's next suggestion, about calling a couple of girls.' It has only recently emerged as an adjective among young people. Are you blanked? Safe? Or lame? New Statesman 16 Feb. 1990, p. 12 blip

noun and verb (Business World) noun: A temporary movement in statistics (usually in an unexpected or unwelcome direction); hence any kind of temporary problem or hold-up; a 'hiccup'. intransitive verb: (Of figures, as on a graph etc.) to rise suddenly; (of a business, an economic indicator, etc.) to suffer a temporary 'hiccup'. Etymology: A figurative use of an existing sense of blip in

radar: the small bump on a financial graph which represents the temporary change looks rather like the apparent rise and fall of the blip as it appears on the even trace on a radar screen. History and Usage: Blip started to be used figuratively in this way, particularly in economics and finance, during the seventies. In the UK it was largely limited to economic or business jargon until September 1988, when Nigel Lawson, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, was widely quoted as having announced that a significant increase in the Retail Price Index was to be regarded only as a 'temporary blip' and not as a sign that the government's anti-inflation policies were failing. After this, the word became fashionable in the British press and it was common to find it applied more widely, outside the field of finance, to any temporary problem. As was the case with Mr Lawson, it is not unusual to find that the person who describes a sudden change as a blip is not yet in a position to know whether it will, in the end, prove to be only temporary. This adds a certain euphemistic tinge to the usage. Nigel Lawson's dilemma is the Conservative Party's also. Is the first tremor on its happy political landscape merely 'a blip', as the Chancellor has called the storm that has gradually engulfed him? Listener 2 Mar. 1989, p. 10 Prices moved higher during overnight trading, and blipped a shade higher still following the release of the G.N.P. figures. New York Times 27 Apr. 1989, section D, p. 19 2.6 BMX.


abbreviation (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) Short for bicycle moto-cross, a sport involving organized cycle-racing and stunt-riding on a dirt track. Also applied to the particular style of sturdy, manoeuvrable cycle used for this.

Etymology: The initial letters of Bicycle and Moto-, with X representing the word cross. History and Usage: BMX developed in the US in the late seventies, when youngsters pressed for special tracks where they could race each other on their bikes without interfering with normal road traffic or pedestrians. It quickly became popular in several countries, and, by the mid eighties, ownership of a distinctive BMX bike had become a status symbol among young people, whether or not they actually intended to take part in the sport. The main characteristics of the cycles are their manoeuvrability (making possible some very daring stunts in freestyle BMX), small colourful wheels, and brightly-coloured protective pads fixed on the tubular frame. A wide variety of other BMX merchandise (such as racing suits, helmets, and gloves) became available during the eighties as manufacturers cashed in on the popularity--and the dangers--of the sport. By the end of the eighties, organized BMX on tracks had waned, although the bikes and stunts remained popular. Danny and the Mongoose Team promote the 'fastest growing youth sport in the country'--BMX bike racing--with a single called 'BMX Boys'. Sounds 3 Dec. 1983, p. 6 Up on the far top corner of camp lies the BMX track. A very fast downhill track with four turns and jumps...adds up to a fun and competitive track. BMX Plus! Sept. 1990, p. 36 2.7 boardsailing...

boardsailing noun Also written board sailing or board-sailing (Lifestyle and Leisure) Another (more official) name for windsurfing. Etymology: Formed by compounding: sailing on a board.

History and Usage: The name boardsailing was first used in the US at the very beginning of the eighties for a water sport which had developed out of surfing, involving a board (a sailboard) similar to a surfboard but using wind in a small sail rather than waves for its power. The sport developed during the seventies and at first was also known as sailboarding. Particularly since it became an Olympic demonstration sport in 1983, it has been known officially as boardsailing, although most people probably know it colloquially as windsurfing. A person who practises this sport is known as a boardsailor or boardsailer (officially, that is: sailboarder and windsurfer also exist!). A more contentious point is whether HRH and his fellow enthusiasts are wind surfers, sailboarders, boardsailers or simply bored sailors. Daily Mail 9 Apr. 1981, p. 39 After scoring seven firsts in as many pre-Olympic boardsailing regattas this year,...Penny Way is fast becoming Britain's hottest Olympic hopeful. The Times 8 June 1990, p. 42 body mousse (Lifestyle and Leisure) see mousse° body-popping noun Also written body popping or bodypopping (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) A style of urban street dancing featuring jerky robotic movements, made to music with a disco beat; abbreviated in street slang to popping. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the popping part is probably a reference to the jerkiness of the dance's movements in response to the popping beat of the music, which is reminiscent of the electronic bleeps of a computer monitor. There may also be some influence from West Indian English poppy-show 'an ostentatious display' (itself ultimately related to puppet show). Certainly the idea is to perform mechanical movements

like those of a robot or doll, punctuated by a machine-gun rhythm. History and Usage: Body-popping developed on the streets of Los Angeles in the late seventies and became popular in other US cities, especially among teenagers in the Bronx area of New York, by the early eighties. Along with break-dancing, with which it gradually merged to become one of the styles of street dancing contributing to hip hop culture, body-popping proved to be one of the most important dance crazes of the decade. By the middle of the eighties it had spread throughout the English-speaking world, and crews of dancers (both Black and White) had been formed in the UK and elsewhere. The verb (body-) pop and agent noun (body-) popper date from about the same time as body-popping. The Pop is very characteristic of the Electric Boogie. Because of the popping nature of Breakdance music, your Boogie will be fresh if you can Pop with all your moves. It is as if the music were Popping you. Mr Fresh with the Supreme Rockers Breakdancing (1984), p. 68 Kids on the rough, tough streets of the Bronx used to beat each other up until they began to have battles in 'break dancing' and 'body popping'. The Times 2 Feb. 1985, p. 9 'What's the difference between breaking and popping?' 'When they popping, they be waving, you know, doing their hands and stuff like that. When they breaks, they spins on the floor, be going around.' American Speech Spring 1989, p. 32 body-scanner noun (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) A scanning X-ray machine which uses computer technology to produce cross-sectional pictures (tomographs) of the body's internal state from a series of X-ray pictures.

Etymology: Formed by compounding: a scanner which produces pictures of the whole body. History and Usage: The body-scanner (at first called a whole-body scanner or total body scanner) was developed by EMI in 1975, using the same technology as had been used to produce the brain scanner a few years earlier. It was immediately welcomed as a powerful diagnostic tool, especially since it was capable of showing up tumours in all parts of the body while they were still at an early stage of development. During the eighties the body-scanner became commonplace in the US, but its high price made it a rarer acquisition in the National Health Service in the UK. As the technology of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (see MRI) have developed, the term body-scanner has been extended in colloquial use to cover all kinds of machines which scan the body and compute cross-sectional pictures of its inside. The studies could also give a better understanding of crystals, which are widely used in electronics, and of magnetism, which is exploited in many body scanners. Sunday Times 6 May 1990, section D, p. 15 body-snatching (Business World) see headhunt bodysuit noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A close-fitting stretch all-in-one garment for women, used mainly for exercising and sports. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a suit (something like a swimsuit in fabric structure) to cover the whole body. History and Usage: The bodysuit first appeared as a fashion garment in the late sixties (when it was usually an all-in-one body garment fastened with snap fasteners at the crotch); in the late seventies and eighties it enjoyed a new lease of life as a skin-tight all-in-one sports garment, benefiting from the craze for exercise regimes and the fashion for sportswear outside the gymnasium and sports stadium.

Before he changes into his tight red Spandex bodysuit with the plunging neckline, there is the quick hint of a tattoo lurking beneath the rolled-up sleeve on his right arm. Washington Post 13 May 1982, section C, p. 17 Four schoolgirls stunned spectators and officials by wearing 'Flo Jo' bodysuits at Victoria's most prestigious schools' athletics meeting at the weekend. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 31 Oct. 1989, p. 3 The eye-boggling a style trend that has been taken up by designers. New York Times 5 Aug. 1990, section 6, p. 38 boff

(People and Society) see bonk

boggling adjective In colloquial use: staggering, stunning, overwhelming. Etymology: Formed by dropping the word mind from mind-boggling, itself a fashionable expression since the mid sixties. History and Usage: Boggling started to be used following nouns other than mind, and also on its own, in the mid seventies. By the end of the eighties, mind-boggling seemed quite dated, while boggling was commonly used, especially to describe a very large statistic or sum of money--in fact anything that would make you boggle-eyed with amazement or surprise. Although essentially a colloquial usage, boggling is found in print, especially in journalism. Per-mile costs fell fractionally as a result of the additional travel, whose total was a boggling 1.526 trillion miles. New York Times 18 Aug. 1985, section 5, p. 9

Serious damage can mean even more boggling bills, but at least your insurance should cover it. Which? Mar. 1990, p. 144 bomb factory noun (Politics) In the colloquial usage of police press releases: a place where terrorist bombs are made illegally or materials for their manufacture are secretly stored. Etymology: Formed by compounding: an unofficial factory for bombs. History and Usage: The term bomb factory seems to have been invented by the police, who have used it in press releases announcing the detection of terrorist bomb manufacture since the mid seventies. The term was taken up enthusiastically by the press--especially the tabloids, for whom it satisfied all the requirements of headline material (short words, the use of nouns in apposition, and emotiveness). He had no idea the four people in the room were turning it into a bomb factory. The Times 21 June 1986, p. 3 A senior police officer described the hoard--one of the biggest ever found--as 'practically the entire contents of a bomb factory'. Daily Mirror 12 Nov. 1990, p. 2 bonk

verb and noun (People and Society) transitive or intransitive verb: In young people's slang, to have sex with (someone); to copulate. noun: An act of sex. Etymology: Bonk originally meant 'to hit resoundingly' and the corresponding noun was an onomatopoeic word for the abrupt thud

that is heard when something hard hits a solid object (such as the head); it was used fairly typically in the school-playground joke 'What goes ninety-nine bonk?'--'A centipede with a wooden leg', which has been told for at least half a century. The transition from 'to hit resoundingly' to the present use was made by way of an intransitive sense 'to make a bonking noise, to thud'. The slang use has parallels in the bang of gang-bang and in the American slang equivalent boff (noun and verb). A less likely theory is that it is backslang for knob, also a vulgar slang way of saying 'have sex'. History and Usage: This sense of bonk, which is really a humorous euphemism, has apparently been in spoken use among young people (especially, it seems, at a number of public schools) since the fifties and first appeared in print in the seventies. Although middle-class slang, it is coarse enough not to have been used in print at all frequently until the middle of the eighties. Then it was brought into vogue by journalists unable to resist the pun with bonk as the onomatopoeic word for the sound a tennis ball makes in contact with the racquet: in the 1987 season, the defending Wimbledon champion Boris Becker was giving disappointing performances, something which the tabloids put down to too much bonking. This episode was followed by much journalistic speculation about the origin of the word (including a street interview on the consumer programme That's Life) and considerably increased use of it in print, often with heavy innuendo. As is often the case with words taken up by the media in this way, interest in it died down within a short time, but by then it had acquired a respectability that allowed it to be used even in the quality newspapers. The corresponding action noun is bonking; agent noun bonker. The Fleet Street rags had their angle after the Doohan victory: BONKED OUT; TOO MUCH SEX BEATS BIG BORIS. Sports Illustrated 6 July 1987, p. 21 Flaubert bonked his way round the Levant, his sense of sexual adventure unquenched by the prospect, soon realised, of catching unpleasant diseases. Independent 28 May 1988, p. 17

Police took away...a 'little black' book containing the names of thousands of women with whom the legendary Belgian bonker is said to have had steamy love romps. Private Eye 15 Sept. 1989, p. 23 boom box noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Music) In US slang, the same thing as a ghetto blaster. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a box which booms. History and Usage: For history, see ghetto blaster. How about a law against playing 'boom boxes' in public places? Washington Post 26 June 1985, section C, p. 10 boomer

noun (People and Society)

In US slang, short for baby boomer: a person born as a result of the baby boom, a sharp increase in the birth rate which occurred in the US at the end of the Second World War and lasted until the mid sixties. Etymology: Formed by dropping the word baby from baby boomer. Before this, boomer had meant 'a person who pushes or boosts an enterprise' in US English. History and Usage: The term baby boom has been in use in US English since the forties, but it was only when the children born as a result of the postwar boom reached maturity in the seventies and eighties that baby boomers started to be referred to frequently in the American press. This generation was by then so numerically significant in US society that advertisers, businesses, and politicians considered them an essential group to cater for. So frequent did the name baby boomer become that by the end of the eighties it could be abbreviated to boomer without fear of misunderstanding, and boomer itself became the basis for compounds such as boomer-age and post-boomer. The post-boomers have also had to deal with the more

recent sellout of the baby boom generation. Globe & Mail (Toronto) 27 May 1989, section D, p. 5 The script is ambitiously constructed, tracing the relationships of several boomer-age parents with their kids, their siblings, and their own parents. New Yorker 18 Sept. 1989, p. 28 The boomer group is so huge that it tends to define every era it passes through, forcing society to accommodate its moods and dimensions. Time 16 July 1990, p. 57 See also buster boot

verb (Science and Technology) transitive: To start up (a computer) by loading its operating system into the working memory; to cause (the system or a program) to be loaded in this way. intransitive: (Of a computer) to be started up by the loading of the operating system; (of a program) to be loaded. Etymology: An abbreviated form of bootstrap 'to initiate a fixed sequence of instructions which initiates the loading of further instructions and, ultimately, of the whole system'; this in turn is named after the process of pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps, a phrase which is widely supposed to be based on one of the eighteenth-century Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Despite the traditional practice of getting sluggish machines to work by giving them a surreptitious kick, there is no connection whatever between this verb and boot meaning 'to kick'. History and Usage: Bootstraps have been used in computing since the fifties, but it was not until personal computers became widespread in the seventies and eighties that the noun bootstrap and the corresponding verb were abbreviated to boot. The verb is often used with up; the action noun for this process is booting (up).

If a computer does not have a hard drive and must be booted from a floppy, one should boot from a 'write-protected' disc that cannot be altered. New Scientist 4 Mar. 1989, p. 42 At last the Amiga can boast a game you'll be proud to boot up when your crystal analyst comes round to listen to your collect of Brian Eno LPs. CU Amiga Apr. 1990, p. 57 born-again adjective (People and Society) Full of the enthusiastic zeal of one recently converted or reconverted to a cause; vigorously campaigning. Also, getting a second chance to do something. Etymology: A figurative application of the adjective, which originally developed from the verbal phrase to be born again (after the story of Jesus and Nicodemus in St John's Gospel, chapter 3) and was properly used to apply to an evangelical Christian who had had a conversion experience of new life in Christ and made this experience the basis for all later actions. History and Usage: The adjective born-again has been used to refer to fundamentalist or evangelical Christians (especially in the Southern States of the US) since at least the sixties. Probably the most influential factor leading to the development of a figurative sense was the election of Jimmy Carter to the Presidency of the United States in 1977; the connection between his born-again Baptist background and the policies that he put forward was made much of in the press at the time, as were the hopes of fundamentalist 'Bible Belt' Christians for his Presidency. Another (quite separate) influence was the rise of fundamentalism within the Islamic world during the early eighties and the zeal with which it was presented to the West. By the end of the eighties, the figurative use was well established and could be applied to virtually any convert to a cause, however trivial; it had also started to be used to describe anyone who had been given a second chance to do something (another 'life' in the language of games).

Duncan and Jeremy are born-again northerners. They saw the northern light last year, when they turned their backs on London. Sunday Express Magazine 9 Aug. 1987, p. 23 In March 1988 I was a born-again student, having got my PPL in 1954...then having to let the licence go at the end of 1956 when marriage came along. Pilot Nov. 1988, p. 26 bottle

noun In British slang: courage, spirit, guts. Usually in phrases such as have (got) a lot of bottle, to be spirited or courageous; to have guts; lose one's bottle, to lose one's nerve (and so as a phrasal verb bottle out, to lose one's nerve; to pull out, especially at the last minute). Etymology: The phrase no bottle has been used in underworld slang to mean 'no use, worthless' since the middle of the nineteenth century; it is likely that this was reinterpreted this century to mean 'lacking substance or spirit', and that from there bottle started to be used on its own and eventually to be incorporated into new phrases. The rhyming slang expression bottle and glass for 'arse' is often assumed to have something to do with these expressions (in which case bottle would be more strictly 'guts'), but this may be no more than popular speculation. History and Usage: These phrases, which are essentially part of the spoken language, started to appear in written sources in the sixties as representations of Cockney or underworld speech. Their use was reinforced by a milk marketing campaign in the early eighties, the caption for which read 'It's gotta lotta bottle', and by television series such as Minder, in which Cockney expressions were brought to a wide audience. Bottle out did not appear in the written language at all until the very end of the seventies (at about the same time as this series was first shown).

Goodness, was I going to give her a bad time! Of course, when it got down to it, I bottled out completely. Robert McLiam Wilson Ripley Bogle (1989), p. 162 You appear not to have the bottle, courtesy or wherewithal to actually approach her in person. Just Seventeen Dec. 1989, p. 22 Some of the warders lost their bottle and just fled. News of the World 8 Apr. 1990, p. 6 bottle bank noun (Environment) A collection point to which empty bottles and other glass containers can be taken for recycling. Etymology: Formed by compounding; whereas in blood bank, sperm bank, etc. the metaphor extends to deposits and withdrawals, the recycling bank accepts deposits only. History and Usage: An early manifestation of public interest in conservation, the bottle bank scheme started in the UK in 1977. The covered skips or plastic bells normally used for this purpose had become a familiar sight in supermarket car parks by the end of the eighties--often overflowing, since there proved to be more enthusiasm among the public than capacity to recycle the glass. Why not take your old, non-returnable glass bottles to your local bottle bank instead of throwing them away? Which? Aug. 1984, p. 355 bought deal noun (Business World) In financial jargon, an arrangement for marketing an issue of bonds or shares, in which a securities house buys up all the stock (often after tendering against other houses) and then

resells it at an agreed price. Etymology: Formed by compounding; the issuer of the shares can be sure that the whole deal will be bought in advance. History and Usage: A practice which originated in the US in the early eighties, the bought deal soon proved attractive to companies in the UK as well as an alternative to the standard rights issue; however, the legal right of shareholders to first refusal on new issues of shares in the UK gave it limited applicability. The American 'bought deal' might become the norm for equity issues as well as for fixed interest loans. The Times 11 Sept. 1986, p. 23 bovine spongiform encephalopathy (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see BSE boy toy

(People and Society) see toyboy

2.8 brat pack...

brat pack noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) In media slang, a group of young Hollywood film stars of the mid eighties who were popularly seen as having a rowdy, fun-loving, and pampered lifestyle and a spoilt attitude to society; more generally, any precocious and aggressive clique. Etymology: Formed by compounding; deliberately made punningly like rat pack, a slang name for a group of rowdy young stars led by Frank Sinatra in the fifties. History and Usage: The term was coined by David Blum in New York magazine in 1985 in an article about the film St Elmo's Fire, and quickly caught on in the media. At a time when rich young stars of sport as well as films were gaining a reputation for bad behaviour in public places, it became a kind of shorthand for the young who had been spoilt by early success and thought the whole world should be organized to suit them. Blum's

article also coined the term brat packer for a member of the original Hollywood brat pack; this, too, is used more widely to refer to members of other brat packs, from professional tennis players to young, successful authors. The Brat Packers act together whenever possible. New York 10 June 1985, p. 42 Border hit back at an Indian newspaper report, which dubbed the Australian cricket team a 'brat pack', notorious for uncouth behavior. Brisbane Telegraph 21 Oct. 1986, p. 2 Young guns. A new generation rediscovers an old genre: brat-packers Estevez, Sutherland, Sheen and Lou Diamond 'La Bamba' Phillips in a rollicking re-run of the Billy The Kid legend. Q Mar. 1989, p. 119 break-dancing noun Also written breakdancing or break dancing (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) A very individualistic and competitive style of dancing, popularized by Black teenagers in the US, and characterized by energetic and acrobatic movements performed to a loud insistent beat; abbreviated in the slang of those who dance it to breaking. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the dancing that was developed specifically to fill the break in a piece of rap music (i.e. an instrumental interlude during which the DJ would be busy mixing, sampling, etc.). In Jamaican English, to broke up has meant 'to wriggle the body in a dance' since at least the fifties; in the Deep South of the US a breakdown has been the name for a riotous dance or hoedown (with an associated verbal phrase to break down) since the middle of the nineteenth century, but the connection between rap music and the development of break-dancing in New York was so close that these older dialectal uses are unlikely to have had much influence.

History and Usage: This style of dancing was pioneered during the late seventies by teams of Black teenage dancers (notably the 'Rock Steady Crew') on the streets of the south Bronx area of New York; each team (or crew) worked in parallel with graffiti artists, and the combination of music, art, and street entertainment that they developed formed the core of the new Black street culture called hip hop. By 1982 the phenomenon had been taken up by the press and widely publicized (to such an extent that by the mid eighties there was talk of over-exposure in the media and breaksploitation, an alteration of the more familiar word blaxploitation 'exploitation of Blacks'). To connoisseurs, breaking is only one of a number of styles of movement making up the highly competitive dance culture; others include body-popping, the lock, and the moonwalk. In breaking itself, dancers spin on the ground, using the body like a human top, and pivoting on a shoulder or elbow, the head, or the back. The craze quickly spread to other parts of the world and began to lose its association with Black culture. The noun break-dancing was quickly followed by the verb break-dance (simply break in Black slang use) and both these forms also exist as nouns; a person who break-dances is a break-dancer (or breaker). While Freddy lays down chanting, talking, rhythmic rap, the Break Dancers break, trying to out-macho one another. They jump in the air and land on their backs, do splits and flip over. Washington Post 4 June 1982, Weekend section, p. 5 They are young street dudes, nearly all of them black, anywhere from 10 to 23 years old, and what they are doing is a new style of dancing known as 'breaking' or 'break dancing'. Daily News 23 Sept. 1983, p. 18 In Leningrad the Juventus Health and Sports Club has activities from Aikido wrestling, skateboarding and break-dancing to tennis. The Times 5 Apr. 1989, p. 46

It seems any moment they will break from this 4,000-year-old tradition and spin off into a lively breakdance. Burst of Excitement (California Institute of Technology) Mar. 1990, p. 3 briefcase (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Music) see ghetto blaster brilliant adjective (Youth Culture) In young people's slang: great, fantastic, really good. Often abbreviated to brill. Etymology: A weakening of the original meaning (in much the same way as great, fantastic, etc. had been weakened by earlier generations of young people), followed in the case of brill by clipping of the ending (like the earlier fab etc.) History and Usage: Although the literal meaning of brilliant is 'shining brightly', the adjective had been used figuratively for two centuries and more before being taken up as a cult word by young people; these earlier figurative uses often described some kind of spectacle, or a person with abnormal talents. From about the end of the 1970s, though, brilliant began to be used to express approval of just about anything. When used in this way, it is sometimes pronounced as a three-syllable word with the primary stress shifted to the final syllable: /--/. Brill appeared in the early eighties. Both are considered a little dated by the very young, but they still seem to be going strong in comics and children's television programmes. I allowed Pandora to visit me in my darkened bedroom. We had a brilliant kissing session. Sue Townsend The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984), p. 15 I think your magazine is brill. Music Making July 1987, p. 11

brilliant pebbles plural noun Also written Brilliant Pebbles (War and Weaponry) A code-name for small computerized heat-seeking missiles designed to intercept and destroy enemy weapons; part of the US Strategic Defense Initiative (or Star Wars). Also, the technology used to produce these. Etymology: One of a series of names making a word-play out of the idea of smart weaponry. The largest, heaviest, and least intelligent weapons (see intelligent°) were spoken about by scientists as moronic mountains, smaller and more intelligent ones as smart rocks (a term coined by SDI chief scientist Gerald Yonas: see smart), and yet smaller and smarter ones as brilliant pebbles; a fourth category in the series was savant sand. History and Usage: Brilliant pebbles were the idea of US scientist Lowell Wood, who proposed in 1988 that existing smart-rocks technology could simply be 'shrunk' to smaller weapons. Work then started on developing brilliant pebbles in place of the space-based interceptor originally planned for Star Wars. Their brilliance is explained by the fact that each would carry a microchip frozen to superconducting temperatures and as powerful as a supercomputer. The SDI organization has funded assembly of brilliant pebbles hardware at the laboratory, and tests to demonstrate the concept are planned in the near future. Aviation Week 11 July 1988, p. 37 The Pentagon has been pushing the smart rocks, while Congress has been championing the ground-based missiles. Mr Edward Teller advocates 'brilliant pebbles'. Economist 4 Feb. 1989, p. 44 Brixton briefcase noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Music) In British slang, the same thing as a ghetto blaster. (Considered by some to be racially offensive.)

Etymology: For etymology and history, see ghetto blaster. The other five had on their laps large stereo portable radios which, I believe, are colloquially spoken of as Brixton briefcases. The Times 22 July 1986, p. 13 Frank asked someone to fetch his briefcase from his car...but...all they could see was a ghetto blaster. So they went back and told Frank. 'That WAS my briefcase man--my Brixton briefcase,' said Frank. Fast Forward 28 Mar. 1990, p. 6 broker-dealer (Business World) see big bang 2.9 BSE...


abbreviation (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) Short for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, an incurable viral brain condition in cattle which causes nervousness, staggering, and other neurological disorders, and eventually results in death. Known colloquially as mad cow disease. Etymology: The initial letters of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. Bovine because it affects cattle; spongiform in that it produces a spongy appearance in parts of the brain tissue; encephalopathy is a word made up of Greek roots meaning 'disease of the brain'. History and Usage: Bovine spongiform encephalopathy was first identified in the UK in 1986, and quickly started to affect a considerable number of cattle in different parts of the country. The discovery in May 1990 that it was possible for it to be transmitted to cats, possibly through pet foods containing brain tissue or offal from cattle, led to international public concern over the safety of British beef for human consumption. The disease has a long incubation period--a number of years--so it was difficult for experts to be sure that no cases in humans

would occur in the future; but a government inquiry found that it was extremely unlikely. Steps were taken to ensure that meat from affected cattle did not enter the food chain, and the public panic over beef began to die down. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) twists the tongues of vets and wrecks the brains of cows. It is also new and baffling. Since the first case of the disease was diagnosed in December 1986, it has struck down 120 animals from 71 herds. Economist 14 Nov. 1987, p. 92 The disease in cows is similar to Scrapie which occurs in sheep, and it's possible that BSE may have been transferred to cattle from sheep. Which? Sept. 1989, p. 428 BSE-free (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see -free 2.10 B two (B2) bomber

B two (B2) bomber (War and Weaponry) see Stealth 2.11 bubblehead...

bubblehead (People and Society) see airhead buddy

noun and verb (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) noun: Someone who befriends and supports a person with Aids (see PWA) by volunteering to give companionship, practical help, and moral support during the course of the illness. intransitive verb: To do this kind of voluntary work. Also as an action noun buddying. Etymology: A specialized use of the well known American sense

of buddy, 'friend'. The American film Buddies, released quite early in the Aids era (1985), was surely influential in popularizing this specialized use. History and Usage: For several generations children in the US have been encouraged to follow the buddy system--never to go anywhere or take part in any potentially dangerous activity alone, but to take a buddy who can bring help if necessary; a similar practice is followed by adults in dangerous situations. The scheme to provide buddies for people with Aids, started in late 1982 in New York, is an extension of that system, recognizing that these people need friendship that is often denied them once they are diagnosed as having the condition. Our greatest priority is to ensure that no person who has contracted an AID related disease is without some kind of personal support...It is therefore our aim to create a buddy system. New York Native 11 Oct. 1982, p. 14 I suppose the book wouldn't have been written if I hadn't buddied, because I wouldn't have had a sense of knowing the reality of Aids. The Times 29 June 1987, p. 16 When one of the members crossed the Rubicon from HIV to Aids, Helpline always appointed two or three buddies to 'see the person through'. Independent 21 Mar. 1989, p. 15 bum-bag noun Also written bumbag or bum bag (Lifestyle and Leisure) A small pouch for money and other valuables, attached to a belt and designed to be worn round the waist or hips; a British name for the fanny pack. Etymology: Formed by compounding; skiers wear them with the pouch to the back, above the bottom (the ' bum'), although as fashion accessories they are normally worn with the pouch in front, where the contents can best be protected from

pickpockets. History and Usage: The bum-bag has been well known to skiers, motorcyclists, and ramblers for some decades as a useful receptacle for sandwiches, waterproofs, and other bits and pieces; being worn round the waist, it leaves the hands free. In the late eighties the bum-bag made the transition from a piece of sports equipment to a fashion item: perhaps because of the risk of bag-snatching in busy city streets, it became fashionable to wear a bum-bag for shopping and everyday use, and in 1990 it was considered one of the main fashion 'accents' in the UK. As such, it is probably only a temporary item in the more general language. The most brilliant accessory is the bum-bag. Slung around the waist, it doubles as a belt and a secure place for valuables. Indy 21 Dec. 1989, p. 21 buppie

noun Also written Buppie or buppy (People and Society)

A Black urban (or upwardly-mobile) professional; a yuppie who is Black. Etymology: Formed by substituting the initial letter of black for the y- of yuppie (see yuppie). History and Usage: The word buppie was invented by the US media in 1984 as one of several variations on the theme of yuppie. Unlike some of the others--such as guppie, juppie (a Japanese yuppie), and puppie (a pregnant yuppie)-- this one caught on: perhaps this was because it identified a distinct group which was obviously rejecting its 'roots' culture in favour of the values and aspirations of a yuppie peer group. Bryant Gumbel and Vanessa Williams are both Buppies. Of course, it wouldn't be Yuppie to be Miss America unless you are the first black one. People 9 Jan. 1984, p. 47 Old Harrovian and self-confessed buppie, with a

fifth-in-a-row hit, Danny D's entrepreneurship is about to go global. Evening Standard 1 May 1990, p. 34 burn-bag noun (Politics) In the jargon of US intelligence, a container into which classified (or incriminating) material is put before being destroyed by burning. Also sometimes known as a burn-basket. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a bag or basket for what is to be burned. History and Usage: The word has been used in US intelligence circles since at least the sixties, but did not come to public notice until the political scandals of later decades: first Watergate (1972) and then the Iran-contra affair (1986: see contra). In relation to these two incidents it was used especially to refer to the means which allowed prominent politicians to dispose of incriminating documents allegedly linking them with the scandal; the chairmen of relevant inquiries could not then require them to be produced. 'I frankly didn't see any need for it at the time,' he [John Poindexter] said of the document, known as an intelligence finding. 'I thought it was politically embarrassing. And so I decided to tear it up, and I tore it up, put it in the burn basket behind my desk. New York Times 16 July 1987, section A, p. 10 burn-out noun Frequently written burnout (Health and Fitness) Physical or emotional exhaustion, usually caused by stress at work; more generally, apathy, disillusionment, or low morale. Also as an intransitive verb burn out, to suffer from this kind of stress exhaustion; adjective burned (or burnt) out. Etymology: A noun formed on the verbal phrase burn oneself out, meaning 'to use up all one's physical or emotional resources'; the noun burn-out already existed in the more literal sense of the complete destruction of something by fire, as well as in two

technical senses. History and Usage: The burn-out syndrome, which is thought to be a direct result of the high-stress lifestyles of the past two decades, was first identified and named in the mid seventies by American psychotherapist Herbert J. Freudenberger. Once the preserve of those in jobs requiring a high level of emotional commitment (such as charity work, medicine, and teaching), burn-out soon started affecting professional sportspeople, executives, and entertainers, too. In the late eighties, the word remained very fashionable, taking over from the more old-fashioned terms depression (imprecise except as a clinical term) and nervous breakdown (for cases of complete burn-out). The most moderate form of burnout occurs when the sufferer endures a heavy stressload. Management Today July 1989, p. 122 She may find herself trapped into trying to please everybody and do everything, failing to set boundaries to her role, which leads to chronic overwork and burn-out. Nursing Times 29 Nov.-5 Dec. 1989, p. 51 Addled with divorce headaches and post- Born burnout, Cruise isn't doing press; but would you like to talk to Don and Jerry, perhaps? Premiere June 1990, p. 92 burster noun (Science and Technology) A machine for separating or bursting continuous stationery (such as computer listing paper) into individual sheets. Etymology: Formed by adding the agent suffix -er to burst; originally, a burster was a charge of gunpowder for bursting a shell. History and Usage: The word has existed in the technical jargon of office machinery since the fifties, but has only become

widely known since the advent of computers and listing paper to nearly all offices, with the attendant nuisance of separating printout into pages. Users who work through a heavy load of fan-fold may find that a 'burster' a useful accessory. Susan Curran Word Processing for Beginners (1984), p. 45 buster

noun (People and Society) In US slang, short for baby buster: a person born in the generation after the baby boom (see boomer), at a time when the birth rate fell dramatically in most Western countries. Etymology: Formed by dropping the word baby from baby buster, following the model of boomer. In economic terms (especially in US English), a bust is a slump, that is the opposite of a boom. History and Usage: The busters--children born from the late sixties onwards--are becoming an important force in Western economies now that they are adults. These economies, once able to grow continuously, must now shrink if the smaller population is not to bust them. Busters may replace boomers as the darlings of advertisers. headline in Wall Street Journal 12 Nov. 1987, p. 41

bustier noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A short, close-fitting bodice (usually without straps), worn by women as a fashion top. Etymology: A direct borrowing from French bustier 'bodice'. The garment helps to define the bust, and so makes its wearer appear bustier, but this is a popular misunderstanding of the origin of the word. History and Usage: The bustier came into fashion in the early eighties; one of its most famous devotees is the rock star Madonna, who has probably done much to keep the fashion going by

regularly making public appearances in a bustier. Delicately edged suede jackets and bustiers in scarlet and black sat atop wafts of brightly coloured chiffon skirts for evening. London Evening News 17 Mar. 1987, p. 18 buyout

noun Sometimes written buy-out (Business World)

The purchase of a controlling share in a company, either by its own employees or by another company. Etymology: The noun is formed on the verbal phrase to buy (someone) out. History and Usage: The word originated in the US in the mid seventies, when there was a marked rise in company take-overs and tender offers. In some buyout schemes it was the company's own employees who were encouraged to buy up sufficient stock in the firm to retain control; other variants are the management buyout or MBO, in which the senior directors of a company buy up the whole stock, and the leveraged buyout (pronounced /--/: see leverage) or LBO, practised mainly in the US, in which outside capital is used to enable the management to buy up the company. Although originally American, the buyout soon reached UK markets as well; by the mid eighties there were firms of financial advisers on both sides of the Atlantic specializing in this subject alone. Variations on the same theme are the buy-back, in which a company repurchases its own stock on the open market (often as a defensive ploy against take-overs), and the buy-in, in which a group of managers from outside the company together buys up a controlling interest. Leveraged buyouts are commonly used in the United States to defeat hostile takeover bids, but have yet to be successfully tested in Britain. The Times 2 May 1985, p. 21 Latest statistics show buyouts and buy-ins by outside managers running at a record level this year.

Daily Telegraph 30 Oct. 1989, Management Buyouts Supplement, p. i Lifting the veil of secrecy was ordinarily enough to kill a developing buyout in its cradle: Once disclosed, corporate raiders or other unwanted suitors were free to make a run at the company before management had a chance to prepare its own bid. Bryan Burrough & John Helyar Barbarians at the Gate (1990), p. 8 buzzword see fuzzword 2.12 bypass


noun Also written by-pass (Health and Fitness)

A permanent alternative pathway for a blood vessel, artery, etc. (especially near the heart or brain), created by transplanting a vessel from elsewhere in the body or inserting an artificial one. Also, the operation by which this is achieved or the artificial device that is inserted. Etymology: A figurative use of the word bypass, which was regularly used in the sixties and seventies for an alternative road built to route traffic round a bottleneck such as a large town; the medical bypass, too, is often created to avoid an obstruction or constriction in the existing network. History and Usage: The art of bypass surgery was developed during the sixties and seventies and was becoming routine by the eighties. By an interesting reversal of linguistic roles, new roads were often called arterials rather than bypasses in the eighties, and the medical sense of bypass showed signs of becoming the dominant meaning of the word. It is often used attributively, in bypass operation, bypass surgery, etc. Sir Robin Day was yesterday 'progressing very nicely' after his heart by-pass operation in a London hospital. News of the World 3 Mar. 1985, p. 2

The findings may have far-reaching implications...offering patients a low-risk alternative to cholesterol-lowering drugs, bypass operations and angioplasty, a technique in which clogged arteries are opened with a tiny balloon that presses plaque against the artery walls. New York Times 14 Nov. 1989, section C, p. 1 3.0 C

3.1 cable television...

cable television noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A system for relaying television programmes by cable (rather than broadcasting them over the air), usually into individual subscribers' homes; also, collectively, the stations and programmes that make use of this system. Often abbreviated to cable tv or simply cable. Etymology: Formed by compounding; a straightforward combination of the existing nouns cable and television. History and Usage: The first experiments with cable television were carried out in the US in the early sixties, but at first the system was officially known as community antenna television, since the signal is picked up by a shared antenna before being cabled to individual receivers. The snappier name cable tv or cable television was first used in the mid sixties in the US, competing for a time with Cablevision (a trade mark which belonged to one of the larger companies operating the system there). After unsuccessful experiments here too in the fifties, cable television was finally adopted in the UK at the beginning of the eighties, giving rise to much speculation about its probable effect on the quality and choice of programmes in conventional broadcasting; in the event it enjoyed a smaller take-up than satellite television. Once established in any

individual country, cable tv has tended to be abbreviated further to cable alone (without a preceding article); the word is often used to refer to the stations or programmes available rather than the system. There is also a verb cable, 'to provide (a home, area, etc.) with cable television'. Reports that the government will soon approve plans to bring cable television to Britain have appeared in almost every newspaper. New Scientist 9 Sept. 1982, p. 674 Even Coronation Street...failed to catch on when it was shown on a New York channel in 1976 and on nationwide cable in 1982. Listener 4 Dec. 1986, p. 29 Cabling a typical 100,000-home franchise takes four to five years, costs œ35 million--œ350 for each home passed by the fibre-optic link which carries the signals. Business Apr. 1990, p. 100 cache

noun and verb (Science and Technology) noun: Short for cache memory, a small high-speed memory in some computers which can be used for data and instructions that need to be accessed frequently, instead of the slower main memory. transitive verb: To place (data, etc.) in a separate high-speed memory. Adjective cached, action noun caching. Etymology: A figurative use of cache, which originally meant 'a hiding place' (borrowed into English at the end of the eighteenth century from French cache, related to cacher 'to hide'); from here it went on to mean 'a temporary store' (Arctic explorers, for example, put spare provisions in a cache, and the verb to cache also already existed for this activity). A computer cache is, in effect, only another kind of temporary store. History and Usage: The cache memory was invented by IBM in the

late sixties, but the verb and its derivatives appear not to have developed until the early eighties. Window images are normally cached in a form to allow fast screen redraw. Personal Computer World Nov. 1986, p. 171 If the information is held in the cache, which can be thought of as a very fast on-chip local memory, then only two clock cycles are required. Electronics & Wireless World Jan. 1987, p. 105 Callanetics plural noun (but usually treated as singular) (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) The trade mark of a physical exercise programme originally developed in the US by Callan Pinckney and based on the idea of building muscle tone through repeated tiny movements using deep muscles. Etymology: Formed by combining the woman's name Callan with -etics, after the model of athletics; probably also influenced by callisthenics, a nineteenth-century word for gymnastics for girls, designed to produce the 'body beautiful' (itself formed on Greek kallos 'beautiful'). History and Usage: One of a long line of exercise programmes and workout routines popular in the eighties, Callanetics was made the subject of a book of the same name in the US in 1984. Despite claims that Callan Pinckney had 'stolen' exercises from the workout routines of her own teachers, the programme was hailed as a new approach to exercise and by 1988 was proving extremely successful commercially. When the book Callanetics was first published in the UK in 1989 it started a new exercise craze, helped on by reports that the Duchess of York had used the programme to get herself back into shape after the birth of her daughter Beatrice. Pinckney herself claims that the unique feature of Callanetics is the way in which it works out deep muscles through movements of only half an inch in each direction from a starting position.

Callanetics requires only two hour-long work-out sessions a week. Sunday Times Magazine 5 Mar. 1989, p. 21 camcorder noun Occasionally written cam-corder (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) A portable video camera with a built-in sound recorder, which can produce recorded video cassettes (and in some cases also play them back). Etymology: A clipped compound, formed by combining the first syllable of camera with the last two of recorder. History and Usage: Prototype camcorders were produced almost simultaneously by several Japanese companies at the beginning of the eighties; the word was first used in English-language sources in 1982. By the end of the eighties it had become almost a household word, as video took over from cine and home movies for recording family occasions, travel, etc. If you want to use a video camera simply to record events in the school year then the camcorder might be for you. Times Educational Supplement 30 Nov. 1984, p. 29 The eight-millimetre camcorders (eight-millimetre refers to the width of the tape)...produce tapes that cannot be used with the VHS format. New Yorker 24 Nov. 1986, p. 98 camp-on noun (Business World) (Science and Technology) A facility of electronic telephone systems which allows an unsuccessful caller to 'latch on' to a number so that the call is automatically connected once the receiving number is available. Etymology: The noun is formed on the verbal phrase to camp on

to, which in turn is a figurative use of the verb to camp: the caller stakes claim to a place in the queue, and this 'pitch' is automatically registered by the system. History and Usage: First used in the mid seventies, the camp-on became increasingly widespread with the rise in popularity of push-button electronic telephones during the eighties. A Thorn Ericsson PABX can provide over twenty aids to efficient communications. Here is one of them: Camp-on busy. An incoming call for an extension that is already engaged (busy)...can be 'camped' on to the engaged extension. Daily Telegraph 10 Mar. 1977, p. 2 campylobacter noun (Health and Fitness) A bacterium occurring in unpasteurized dairy produce and other everyday foods and capable of causing food poisoning in humans. Etymology: The bacterium takes its name from the genus name Campylobacter, which in turn is formed from a Greek word kampulos 'bent, twisted' (the bacteria in this family being twisted or spiral in shape) and the first two syllables of bacterium. History and Usage: Campylobacter is an important cause of non-fatal cases of food poisoning. The word, first used in the early seventies, would probably have remained known only to bacteriologists had it not been for public interest in--and concern about--food safety in the UK in 1989-90. 60 per cent of all poultry carcasses were infected with either salmonella or campylobacter. The Times 2 Mar. 1990, p. 2 can bank noun (Environment) A collection point to which empty cans may be taken for recycling.

Etymology: For etymology, see bottle bank. History and Usage: With increasing consumption of fizzy drinks from ring-pull cans in the eighties, the can bank was a natural development of the recycling idea started by the bottle bank. So far there are less than 200 'can banks' operated by 60 local authorities in Britain. One big problem is that it isn't easy enough to distinguish steel from aluminium. John Button How to be Green (1989), p. 112 Candida noun (Health and Fitness) Short for Candida albicans, a yeastlike fungus which causes inflammation and itching in the mouth or vagina (commonly known as thrush), and is also thought to cause digestive problems when it multiplies in the digestive tract. Also, loosely, the set of digestive problems caused by excessive quantities of Candida in the gut; candidiasis. Etymology: A shortened form of the Latin name Candida albicans; popularly, the genus name Candida (which is formed on the Latin word candidus 'white') is used to refer to the particular species Candida albicans (whose name is a sort of tautology, meaning 'white-tinged white'). History and Usage: The effects of Candida in the mouth and vagina (thrush) have been well known since the thirties. The theory that the fungus can get out of control in the gut (especially on a Western diet high in refined sugars) and cause digestive illness is one that has only been given any credence in the past decade, and is still not fully supported in traditional medicine. Bill the world...while she stays in Britain suffering from an agonising allergy...He spoke of his wife's painful illness, Candida...Candida's a yeast allergy that usually affects the stomach...Certain food's OK for the Candida, but bad for the liver.

News of the World 8 Apr. 1990, p. 9 cap

verb and noun (Politics) transitive verb: To impose a limit on (something); specifically, of central government: to regulate the spending of (a local authority) by imposing an upper limit on local taxation. noun: An upper limit or 'ceiling', especially one imposed by central government on a local authority's spending. Etymology: This sense arises from the image of placing a cap or capping on the top of something (a general sense of the verb which has existed since the seventeenth century), and may be related more specifically to the capping of oil wells as a way of controlling pressure. As such, it is almost opposite in meaning to the colloquial sense of the verb, 'to exceed or excel, to outdo'. History and Usage: This type of capping became topical in the mid eighties with the UK government's capping of local authority spending (first in the form of rate-capping, and in 1990 as charge-capping or poll-capping). Councils on which this was imposed, or the taxes they could levy, were described as capped (rate-capped, charge-capped, etc.). The major cost would come in lost interest on cash flow because most people would delay paying until the lower, charge-capped, demand arrived. Independent 20 Mar. 1990, p. 8 The Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed the second stage of the legal campaign by 19 Labour local authorities against the Government's decision to cap their poll tax levels and order cuts in their budgets. Guardian 28 June 1990, p. 2 A council once famous for getting disadvantaged people into further education has abolished all discretionary maintenance grants because it has been charge-capped.

Times Educational Supplement 7 Sept. 1990, p. 6 capture noun and verb (Science and Technology) noun: The process of transferring information from a written, paper format to machine-readable form (on a computer). Known more fully as data capture. transitive verb: To convert (data) in this way, using any of several means (such as punched tape, keyboarding, optical character readers, etc.). Etymology: The noun and verb arose at about the same time, probably through specialization of a figurative sense of the verb to capture meaning 'to catch or record something elusive, to portray in permanent form' (as, for example, a likeness might be captured in a painting or photograph). History and Usage: A technical term in computing from the early seventies onwards, capture entered the more general language in the eighties and became one of the vogue words in journalistic articles about any computerization project and in advertising copy for even minimally computerized products. About 70% of all data captured is reentered at some future point. ABA Banking Journal Dec. 1989, p. 74 Unmatched range of edit/capture facilities simply not offered by other scanners at this unbeatable price. CU Amiga Apr. 1990, p. 68 carbon tax (Environment) see greenhouse card°

noun (Business World) A thin rectangular piece of semi-rigid plastic carrying the membership details of the owner and used to obtain credit, guarantee cheques, activate cash dispensers, etc.

Etymology: Although made of plastic, this kind of card closely resembles in size, shape, and purpose a business or membership card (itself named after the material from which it was traditionally made); in the electronic age, size, shape, and recorded data (usually on a magnetic strip) are the important characteristics, for they determine whether or not the card may be used in the appropriate machinery. History and Usage: In the UK, the stiff plastic card was first widely used by banks as a method of guaranteeing payment on cheques from the late sixties onwards; this kind of card was generally known as a cheque card. The huge increase in consumer credit facilities which took place in the US during the sixties and in the UK during the seventies meant that the embossed credit card or charge card became very common. By the eighties it was not unusual for an individual cardmember to carry a whole range of cards for different purposes, including the types mentioned above and the store option card (or simply option card) giving interest-free credit for a limited period on goods from a specified store. Some people even considered that plastic had taken over from money in the US and the UK. This view was reinforced by the introduction in 1982 of a plastic card to replace coins in public telephone boxes (see phonecard), the increasing popularity of the cash dispenser (which allows people to use a cash card as a means of obtaining cash, discovering their bank balance, etc.), and the introduction of the debit card (which uses electronic point-of-sale equipment to debit the cost of goods direct from the customer's bank account, without the intervention of cheques or credit facilities). Card technology became a growth area during the eighties with the need to increase card-users' protection against theft and misuse; the chip card, a card which incorporates a microchip to store information about the transactions for which it is used, was one of the proposed solutions to this problem. With the proliferation of different kinds of cards, machinery was needed which could 'read' the information stored on the magnetic strip quickly and efficiently; by the end of the eighties, the card-swipe, a reader similar to an electronic eye, across or through which the card is 'wiped' rapidly, was widely used for this purpose. The term (credit-)card (short for (credit-)card-sized) began to occur in attributive position in the mid eighties to describe the thing named by the following noun as being the same size as, or in some other way similar to,

a card (see the last quotation below). I reported the missing credit cards...but I did not call my bank that evening, trusting that nobody could use that card without the PIN code. New York Times 21 Nov. 1989, section A, p. 24 Forstmann Little would receive senior debt rather than junior debt--roughly the difference between an American Express card and an IOU. Bryan Burrough & John Helyar Barbarians at the Gate (1990), p. 292 UK Banks and building societies...are vigorously promoting the advantages of the new style three-in-one card covering cheque guarantee, cashpoint and debit card facilities. Observer 22 Apr. 1990, p. 35 The British Heart Foundation has leaflets on angina and other heart conditions as well as credit card guides to pacemaker centres. Daily Telegraph 26 June 1990, p. 13 See also affinity card, gold card, and switch cardý

noun (Science and Technology) A printed circuit board (see PCBý) similar in appearance to a credit card and having all the circuitry required to provide a particular function in a computer system. Etymology: So named because of its resemblance to a credit card; just as a small piece of cardboard is a card, so too a small circuit board is punningly called a card. History and Usage: Slot-in cards providing extra facilities for a computer system (at first known almost exclusively as expansion cards) became a popular feature of the PCs of the

eighties. The word card is often preceded by another word explaining the function (as in graphics card or EGA card, a card upgrading a computer to display enhanced graphics); this sometimes results in rather cryptic names such as hard card, a card upgrading the memory of a computer to the equivalent of hard-disc storage capacity. Because it provides the user with any of a number of new options without the need to buy a new computer, this kind of card is sometimes known as an option card. VideoFax comes as a pair of circuit boards, or 'cards', which plug into the back of a personal computer. New Scientist 21 Jan. 1989, p. 39 No matter how reliable, how well engineered or how many options your intelligent multiport card claims to offer, will severely limit the numbers of users your system will support. UnixWorld Sept. 1989, p. 36 cardboard city noun (People and Society) An area of a large town where homeless people congregate at night under makeshift shelters made from discarded cardboard boxes and other packing materials. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a city made from cardboard. History and Usage: A phenomenon of the eighties, and an increasing problem in large cities both in the UK and in the US. Sometimes written with capital initials, as though it were a place-name in its own right. This is not a country where families can live under bridges or in 'cardboard cities' while the rest of us have our turkey dinner. Washington Post 23 Dec. 1982, section A, p. 16 In The Trackers of Oxyrhyncus...the people of Cardboard

City erupt on to the stage. These are the men and women, some old and some very young, who live beneath the arches on the South Bank. Independent Magazine 19 May 1990, p. 14 Cardiofunk noun (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) The trade mark of a cardiovascular exercise programme which combines aerobic exercises with dance movements. Etymology: Formed from the combining form cardio- 'heart' (Greek kardia) and funk, a type of popular music (see funk). History and Usage: A development of aerobics, Cardiofunk was invented in the US in 1989 and imported to the UK in 1990. Cardiosalsa and Cardiofunk classes are jammed at the five Voight Fitness and Dance Centers. USA Today 4 Jan. 1990, section D, p. 1 Tessa a fan of cardiofunk and has got together with Derrick Evans to present the video Cardiofunk: the Aerobic programme. Company June 1990, p. 25 cardphone (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) see phonecard carer

noun (People and Society) Someone whose job involves caring; especially, a person who looks after an elderly, sick, or disabled relative at home and is therefore unable to take paid employment. Etymology: Formed by adding the agent suffix -er to care; the word had existed in the more general sense of 'one who cares' since the seventeenth century. History and Usage: This sense arose out of the concept of caring professions (see below) and the realization that much

unpaid caring was being done by relatives who could not or would not entrust their elderly or sick loved-ones to professional care. The word was first used in this way towards the end of the seventies and became very fashionable in the mid eighties as increasing efforts were made to provide carers with the support they need. When used on its own, without further qualification, carer now usually means a person who cares for someone unpaid at home (also called a care-giver in the US); professional carer is often used for a member of the caring professions. When a son is the primary care-giver, it is usually by default: either he is an only son or belongs to a family of sons. New York Times 13 Nov. 1986, section C, p. 1 Ms Caroline Glendinning, who made the study while a research fellow at York University, called yesterday for increased benefit rates for carers and for a non-means tested carer's costs allowance. Carers also needed opportunities for part-time work, flexi-time employment, and job sharing. There are an estimated six million carers. Guardian 12 July 1989, p. 8 caring

adjective (People and Society) Committed, compassionate; of a job: involving the everyday care of elderly, sick, or disabled people. Etymology: Formed by turning the present participle of the verb care into an adjective. History and Usage: Caring was first used as an adjective (in the sense 'committed, compassionate') in the mid sixties. By the end of the seventies there had been much talk in the UK of the need for a caring society supported by a strong welfare state, and certain professions (such as medicine, social work, etc.) had been recognized as caring professions. With the change of emphasis towards individual responsibility and away from the nanny state in the eighties, the caring society based on the welfare state received less attention, but the government put

forward the idea of caring capitalism instead. After the conspicuous consumption of the eighties, journalists identified a change of ethos in Western societies which prompted them to christen the new decade the caring nineties. A lot of people seemed to have come from the so-called caring professions--social work, psychotherapy, and so on. New Yorker 22 Sept. 1986, p. 58 The Government had long urged local authority social service departments to act in an enabling and not just a providing capacity. They would be responsible, after consulting agencies such as doctors and other caring professions, for assessing individual needs, designing care arrangements, and ensuring that they were properly administered. Guardian 13 July 1989, p. 6 His major driving force is 'caring capitalism', showing that making money does not always mean exploiting others. Today 13 Mar. 1990, p. 6 carphone noun Also written car phone or car-phone (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) A radio telephone which can be fitted in and operated from a car. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a phone used in a car. History and Usage: The carphone has been available since the sixties, but only really became popular in the late eighties as less expensive and more reliable models came on to the market. Their popularity, especially among the yuppie set, with whom they were considered a status symbol, has led to concern about the safety of one-handed driving. This was possibly influential in the British government's decision to tax their use more heavily in the April 1991 budget.

'Darling can you keep next Friday free for our appointment at the amniocentesis clinic,' Nicola chirps down the Cellnet (Yuppiespeak for car phone). Today 21 Oct. 1987, p. 36 The carphone, that symbol of success that says you are so much in demand that you cannot afford to be incommunicado for a moment. The Road Ahead (Brisbane) Aug. 1989, p. 19 See also cellular and Vodafone. Cartergate (Politics) see -gate cascade noun (Business World) In business jargon, the process of disseminating information within an organization from the top of the hierarchy downwards in stages, with each level in the hierarchy being briefed and in turn briefing the next level down; a meeting designed to achieve this. Etymology: A figurative use of the word cascade, in which the information is seen as falling and spreading like a waterfall. It has parallels in a technical sense of the word in transport: the process of relegating rolling stock etc. to successively less demanding uses before decommissioning it altogether. History and Usage: Cascade was a fashionable marketing and business term which found its way into other professions, such as education, during the eighties. The opposite effect, in which those at the bottom of the hierarchy feed back their views to the higher echelons, has jokingly been called 'splashback'. An elaborate training programme has been arranged, spread over four phases in what is called a 'cascade'. Heads of department are trained so that they can go back into schools and train the teachers.

The Times 25 Apr. 1986, p. 10 cash card (Business World) see card° cash dispenser noun (Business World) (Science and Technology) A machine from which cash can be obtained by account-holders at any time of day or night by inserting a cash card and keying in a PIN. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a dispenser of cash. History and Usage: Cash dispensers were introduced in the sixties, but made much more versatile (and therefore more popular) during the seventies and eighties, when the name cashpoint started to take over from cash dispenser. Also sometimes called a cash machine. For further history see ATM. Ian first noticed the mystery debits one weekend when he tried to withdraw money from a cashpoint, and couldn't. Which? Sept. 1989, p. 411 With an Abbeylink card you can also have round-the-clock access to a national network of cash machines...Problems with cash dispensers are the biggest cause for complaint [to the Building Societies Ombudsman], followed by building societies that charge home owners an administration fee if they refuse to take out buildings insurance through them. Good Housekeeping May 1990, pp. 18 and 191 Cassingle noun (Music) The trade mark of an audio cassette carrying a single piece of (usually popular) music, especially one which needs no rewinding; the cassette version of a single disc. Etymology: Formed by combining the first syllable of cassette with single to make a blend.

History and Usage: The Cassingle was introduced in the UK in the late seventies and in the US at the beginning of the eighties, when the popularity of the single disc in the popular music world was waning and much popular music was listened to on tape. In the UK it started purely as a promotional device, given away to radio stations and disc jockeys to encourage them to give airtime to singles; by the end of the eighties, though, Cassingles were commercially available. Singles...recently introduced by CBS (which introduced the two-sided disc back in 1908); the cassingle, which lists for $2.98 and goes totally against the idea of convenience. Washington Post 31 Oct. 1982, section L, p. 1 All the figures tell the same story. Single and LP records are on the way out. Within 10 years, we will all be buying 'cassingles', cassettes and compact discs. Independent 20 Feb. 1987, p. 14 casual

noun Frequently written Casual (People and Society) (Youth Culture) In the UK, a young person who belongs to a peer group favouring a casual, sporty style of dress and soul music, and often characterized by right-wing political views, aggressively or violently upheld. Etymology: Named after their characteristic style of dress, which is studiedly casual (but certainly not untidy--for example, sports slacks rather than jeans). History and Usage: Successors to the Mods of earlier decades, the first groups of casuals seem to have been formed in the early eighties. By 1986 they were firmly associated with football violence, having been described in the Popplewell report on crowd safety and control at sports grounds as groups which attached themselves to particular teams, 'bent on fighting the opposition fans in order to enhance their own prestige'. The subculture also exists outside the football ground, though, especially in wealthier areas.

Politics just aren't that important for 90 per cent of skinheads. And you're more likely to get violence from the Casuals at football matches than any of us. Independent 23 Jan. 1989, p. 14 casual sex noun (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society) Sexual activity between people who are not regular or established sexual partners. Etymology: Formed by compounding: sex which is casual. History and Usage: A change in public attitudes towards sexual activity was the essential prerequisite for sexual activity to be described as casual sex, since the description implies that sex with a diversity of partners is conceivable--a view which, however much it may have been held by individuals, was not much aired in public before the 'swinging' sixties. During the seventies significant numbers of people began to question the conventional wisdom that only husband and wife, or those in a 'steady relationship', should have sexual intercourse. However, the idea that sex could become a transaction between any two (or more) otherwise unacquainted people remained controversial, despite the existence of such long-established forms of casual sex as prostitution. Use of the expression steadily increased, possibly indicating more widespread acceptability for the concept, and by the late seventies casual could also be applied to sexual partners. What brought the phrase to unprecedented prominence during the eighties was the Aids crisis, which made non-judgemental plain speaking about the reality of people's sexual behaviour essential. The length of the list might suggest that Auden was in the habit of 'cruising'--picking up boys for casual sex. Humphrey Carpenter W. H. Auden (1981), p. 97 The advice is to either avoid casual sex or to use a condom.

New Musical Express 14 Feb. 1987, p. 4 See also safe sex CAT°

acronym (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) Short for computerized axial tomography, a medical technology which provides a series of cross-sectional pictures of internal organs and builds these up into a detailed picture using an X-ray machine controlled by a computer. Etymology: An acronym, formed on the initial letters of Computerized Axial Tomography; sometimes expanded as Computer-Aided or Computer-Assisted Tomography. History and Usage: The technique was developed by EMI in the US in the mid seventies and was at first known as CT scanning (an alternative name which is still widely used, especially in the US). By producing detailed pictures of the inside of the body (and in particular of brain tissue) it revolutionized diagnostic procedures, often doing away with the need for exploratory surgery. CAT is normally used attributively, like an adjective: the image produced is a CAT scan; the equipment which produces it is a CAT scanner; the process is CAT scanning rather than CAT alone. Voluntary groups have raised the buy CAT scanners for their local hospitals. Listener 28 Apr. 1983, p. 2 Very soon after meeting Gabriel, I sent him to get a CT scan of his head and discovered a medium-sized tumor in his brain. Perri Klass Other Women's Children (1990), p. 222


noun and adjective (Environment) noun: Short for catalytic converter, catalyst, or catalyser, a device which filters pollutants from vehicle exhaust emissions, thereby cutting down air pollution.

adjective: Catalysed; fitted with a catalytic converter (used especially in cat car). Etymology: Formed by shortening catalytic converter, catalyst, or catalyser to its first syllable. History and Usage: Catalytic converters were first developed in the fifties, but the abbreviation cat did not start to appear frequently in print until about 1988, when the first models of car fitted with a cat as a standard option became available in the UK. Although quite separate from the issue of unleaded fuel, the desirability of cat cars has tended to be discussed in connection with the widespread switch to lead-free petrol, since a cat can only do its job--to 'scrub' carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbons from the exhaust--in cars which run on unleaded fuel. At first, new models were produced in both cat and non-cat versions, but cat-only models look increasingly likely in the nineties. Unusually, Ford have been completely wrong-footed on this one by arch-rival Vauxhall, who are to start supplying cat cars in the UK this autumn. Performance Car June 1989, p. 20 The new Turbo's exhaust system...features a metallic-element catalytic converter, while even the wastegate tailpipe is equipped with a cat and a muffler. Autocar & Motor 7 Mar. 1990, p. 13 'Cats' are like honeycombs with many internal surfaces...covered with precious metals which react with harmful exhaust gases. Independent 3 Aug. 1990, p. 2 3.2 CD


noun (Science and Technology)

Short for compact disc, a small disc on which audio recordings or other data are recorded digitally and which can be 'read' optically by the reflection of a laser beam from the surface. Etymology: The initial letters of Compact Disc. History and Usage: CD technology was invented by Philips for audio recording towards the end of the seventies as the most promising medium for the accurate new digital recordings. By 1980 Philips had pooled their resources with Sony and it was clear that the CD was to become the successor to the grooved audio disc. During the early eighties the optical disc (another name for the CD) was also vaunted as the medium of the future for other kinds of data, since the storage capacity was vastly greater than on floppy--or even hard--discs; a number of large reference works and commercial databases became available on CD ROM (compact disc with read-only memory), the form of CD used for data of this kind. The sound and data are recorded as a spiral pattern of pits and bumps underneath a smooth protective layer; inside the special CD player or CD reader needed to 'read' each of these kinds of disc, a laser beam is focused on this spiral. By 1990 the CD had become the established medium for high-quality audio recordings and new forms of CD were being tried: the photo-CD, for example, was suggested as a permanent storage medium for family photographs, the digitized images being 'read' by a CD player and viewed on a television screen. CD video (or CDV) applies the same technology to video. Multimedia CDs, including CDI (Compact Disc Interactive) and DVI (Digital Video Interactive) offer the possibility of combining text, sound, and images on a single disc. CDTV allows the viewer to interact with recorded television. Whatever you want--get it on CD Video from your record or Hi Fi dealer. Sky Magazine Apr. 1990, p. 14 The CDTV system involves a unit the same size as a video recorder which plugs into a standard television set. Daily Telegraph 13 Aug. 1990, p. 4 CDI...emphasises the fact that it is a world standard.

This is a claim that can only be equalled by records, tapes and audio CDs...To achieve this Philips and Sony developed a new system and a new CD format for text, graphics, stills, and animation. Information World Review Sept. 1990, p. 20 The Kodak Photo CD system, jointly developed by Kodak and Philips of the Netherlands, digitally stores images from negatives or slides on compact discs. The pictures can then be shown on ordinary television or computer screens with a Photo CD player that also plays audio CDs. Chicago Tribune 19 Sept. 1990, section C, p. 4 3.3 Ceefax...


noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology)

In the UK, the trade mark of a teletext system (see tele-) operated by the BBC. Etymology: A respelling of see (as in seeing) combined with fax (see fax° and faxý): seeing facsimile, on which you may see facts. History and Usage: Ceefax was introduced in the early seventies and is now a standard option on most new television sets in the UK. Telesoftware is carried by teletext--in other words, it is part of the BBC's Ceefax service. Listener 16 June 1983, p. 38 See also Oracle cellular adjective (Science and Technology) Being part of a mobile radio-telephone system in which the area served is divided into small sections, each with its own

short-range transmitter/receiver; cellular telephone, a hand-held mobile radio telephone for use in this kind of system. Etymology: This kind of radio-telephone system is termed cellular from the small sections, called cells, into which the operating area is divided. The same frequencies can be used simultaneously in the different cells, giving greater capacity to the system as a whole. History and Usage: This kind of mobile telephone became available in the late seventies and was considerably more successful than the more limited non-cellular radio telephone. By the mid eighties cellular was often abbreviated to cell-, as in cellphone for cellular telephone and Cellnet, the trade mark of the cellular network operated by British Telecom in the UK (and also of a similar service in the US), sometimes also used to mean a cellphone. It will soon be possible to use either of the two cellular networks started this year off almost the entire south coast. The Times 15 Feb. 1985, p. 37 The mobile phone is the perfect symbol, if not of having arrived, then at least of having the car pointed in the right direction. It would no doubt come as a surprise to most cellphone users that their conversations are in the public domain, as it were, available to anyone with a scanning receiver, a little time to kill, and a healthy disregard for personal privacy. Fortunately for cellphone users, it's very difficult for us eavesdroppers to 'lock in' on one conversation for more than a few minutes. Guardian 14 July 1989, p. 7 3.4 CFC


abbreviation (Environment) Short for chlorofluorocarbon, any of a number of chemical

compounds released into the atmosphere through the use of refrigerators, aerosol propellants, etc., and thought to be harmful to the ozone layer. Etymology: The initial letters of the elements which make up the chemical name chlorofluorocarbon: compounds of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. History and Usage: CFCs have been in use as refrigerants, in aerosols, and in the plastics industry for some decades, but came into the public eye through the discovery that they were being very widely dispersed in the atmosphere and that chlorine atoms derived from them were contributing to ozone depletion. The experimental work showing this to be the case was carried out during the seventies; by the early eighties, environmental groups were trying to publicize the dangers and some governments had taken action to control the use of CFCs, but it was not until the end of the decade that CFC became an almost universally known abbreviation in industrialized countries and manufacturers started to produce large numbers of products labelled CFC-free. If not followed by a number or in a combination such as CFC gases, the term is nearly always used in the plural, since there is a whole class of compounds of similar structure and having similar effects on the ozone layer, although some are more harmful than others. Shoppers are told that meat and eggs are packaged in CFC-free containers. Daily Telegraph 2 May 1989, p. 17 India alone estimates its bill for replacing CFCs over the next 20 years will be œ350 million. Mrs Thatcher said it was essential that all nations joined the process of ridding the world of CFCs otherwise the health of the people of the world and their way of life would suffer. Guardian 28 June 1990, p. 3 Du Pont has...promised to suspend production of ozone-destroying CFCs by 2000.

News-Journal (Wilmington) 9 July 1990, section D, p. 1 3.5 chair...


noun (People and Society) A non-sexist way of saying 'chairman' or 'chairwoman'; a chairperson. Etymology: Formed by dropping the sex-specific part of chairman etc. An impersonal use of Chair (especially in the appeal of Chair! Chair! and in the phrase to address the chair) had existed for centuries and provided the precedent for this use. History and Usage: A usage which arose from the feminist movement in the mid seventies. Although disliked by some, it has become well established. It is interesting, though, that it has not produced derivatives: one finds chairpersonship of a committee, but only very rarely chairship. On the more general aspects of the arriviste's upward trajectory, however, such as the craft of...chairpersonship, he has much less to say. Nature 9 Dec. 1982, p. 550 She has annoyed the Black Sections by refusing to resign as chair of the party black advisory committee. Tribune 12 Sept. 1986, p. 7

challenged (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) see abled Challenger (Science and Technology) see shuttle chaos

noun (Science and Technology) A state of apparent randomness and unpredictability which can be observed in the physical world or in any dynamic system that is highly sensitive to small changes in external conditions; the

area of mathematics and physics in which this is studied (also called chaos theory or chaology). Etymology: A specialized use of the figurative sense of chaos, 'utter confusion and disorder' (a sense which itself goes back to the seventeenth century). Although actually determined by tiny changes in conditions which have large consequences, the processes which scientists call chaos appear at first sight to be random, utterly confused, and disordered. History and Usage: The serious study of chaos began in the late sixties, but it was only in the mid seventies that mathematicians started to call this state chaos and not until the mid eighties that the study of these phenomena came to be called chaos theory. It is relevant to any system in which a very small change in initial conditions can make a significant difference to the outcome; a humorous example often quoted is the butterfly effect in weather systems--these systems being so sensitive to initial conditions that it is said that whether or not a butterfly flaps its wings on one side of the world could determine whether or not a tornado occurs on the other side. By the beginning of the nineties the study of chaotic systems had already proved to offer important insights to all areas of science--and indeed to our understanding of social processes--partly because it views systems as dynamic and developing rather than looking only at a static problem. A person who studies chaos is a chaologist, chaos theorist, or chaoticist. When the explorers of chaos began to think back on the genealogy of their new science, they found many intellectual trails from the past...A starting point was the Butterfly Effect. James Gleick Chaos: Making a New Science (1988), p. 8 Chaos theory presents a Universe that is deterministic, obeying fundamental physical laws, but with a predisposition for disorder, complexity and unpredictability. New Scientist 21 Oct. 1989, p. 24

One of the tasks facing students of complex chaotic to investigate fully the range of predictability in each case. The Times 9 Aug. 1990, p. 13 charge-capping (Politics) see cap charge card (Business World) see card° chase the dragon verbal phrase (Drugs) In the slang of drug users, to take heroin (or heroin mixed with another smokable drug) by heating it on a piece of folded tin foil and inhaling the fumes. Etymology: The phrase is reputed to be translated from Chinese and apparently arises from the fact that the fumes move up and down the piece of tin foil with the movements of the molten heroin powder, and these undulating movements resemble the tail of the dragon in Chinese myths. History and Usage: This method of taking heroin comes from the Far East, as does the imagery of the phrase. It has been practised in the West since at least the sixties; in the eighties, with the threat of contracting Aids from used needles, it became more popular than injecting and the phrase became more widely known. Probably the stuff was now only twenty per cent pure. Still, good enough for 'chasing the dragon' Hong Kong style with match, silver foil, and paper tube. Timothy Mo Sour Sweet (1982), p. 50 A hundred men or more lay sprawled 'chasing the dragon'--inhaling heroin through a tube held over heated tinfoil. The Times 24 May 1989, p. 13

A smokeable dollop of heroin costs about $10, about the same as a 'rock' of crack, which means that one can 'chase the dragon' for $20. Sunday Telegraph 18 Feb. 1990, p. 17 chatline (People and Society) see -line chattering classes noun (People and Society) In the colloquial language of the media in the UK, educated members of the middle and upper classes who read the 'quality' newspapers, hold freely expressed liberal political opinions, and see themselves as highly articulate and socially aware. Etymology: A catch-phrase (apparently coined by the journalist Frank Johnson in the early eighties and popularized by Alan Watkins of the Observer), after the model of working classes--the main characteristic of the group being readiness to express social and political opinions which are nevertheless seen by those in power as mere chatter. History and Usage: According to an article by Alan Watkins in the Guardian (25 November 1989), the term was coined by Frank Johnson in conversation with Watkins in the late seventies or early eighties, when the two journalists lived in neighbouring flats. Certainly it was Watkins who subsequently popularized this apt description and turned it into a useful piece of shorthand for a well-known British 'type'. According to Watkins, the most important characteristics of the chattering classes at the time were their political views (usually including criticism of the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher), their occupations (social workers, teachers, journalists, 'media people'), and their preferred reading matter (newspapers such as the Guardian, Independent, and Observer). Does anybody really care who is elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford? Only the chattering classes are exercised. Daily Telegraph 7 Mar. 1987, p. 14

cheque card (Business World) see card° child abuse noun (People and Society) Maltreatment of a child, especially by physical violence or sexual interference. Etymology: Formed by compounding. The specialized sense of abuse here had already been in use for some time before the (sexual) abuse of children came to public attention during the eighties, and is common in other combinations: see abuse. History and Usage: Child abuse was first used as a term in the early seventies, but mostly to refer to crimes of physical violence ('baby battering') or neglect. During the eighties (and particularly as a result of the public enquiry into the large numbers of children diagnosed as sexually abused in Cleveland, NE England, in 1987) it became clear that the sexual abuse of children, often by a parent or other family member, was much more widespread than had previously been thought, and a great deal was both written and spoken on the subject. Since then, the term child abuse has been used especially to refer to sexual interference with a child, and seems to have taken over from the older term child molesting. In 1990 the subject gained widespread publicity once again in the UK as police investigated the suspected abuse of children by adults involved in satanic rituals (known as ritual abuse or satanic abuse as well as child abuse). Child abuse occurs in all walks of life...Doctors and lawyers, too, batter their kids. New York Times 6 Jan. 1974, p. 54 Grave disquiet was expressed...about the conclusions drawn from diagnostic sessions held at the Great Ormond Street Hospital child abuse clinic in those cases where there was doubt whether a child had been sexually abused.

The Times 16 July 1986, p. 36 Childline (People and Society) see -line China syndrome noun (Science and Technology) A hypothetical sequence of events following the meltdown of a nuclear reactor, in which so much heat is generated that the core melts through its containment structure and deep down into the earth. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the idea is that the syndrome ultimately results in the meltdown's reaching China (from the US) by melting through the core of the earth. History and Usage: The China syndrome was always a fictional concept. It began as a piece of the folklore of nuclear physics but was widely popularized by the film The China Syndrome (produced in the US in 1979), which dealt with a fictional case of the official cover-up of an operational flaw in a nuclear reactor. Partly as a result of this film and partly because of the near meltdown which occurred at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union in 1986, the idea of the China syndrome came to symbolize people's fears about the increasing use of nuclear power, even though the actual sequence of events in the fictional China syndrome was obviously far-fetched. The phrase had become sufficiently well known by the late eighties to be applied punningly by journalists in a number of other contexts, notably in relation to mass pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing in 1989 and their subsequent violent suppression by the Chinese government. Mr. Velikhov's announcement gave no clear indication just how close the Chernobyl disaster came to creating the so-called 'China Syndrome'. The Times 12 May 1986, p. 1 For at least a decade, government and business leaders around the world have based their Asian thinking on the belief that China was an economically developing, politically stable giant. Now all that has been stood on

its head. There is a new China syndrome. Business Week 26 June 1989, p. 76 China white (Drugs) see designer drug chip card (Business World) see card° chlorofluorocarbon (Environment) see CFC chocolate mousse (Environment) see mousseý cholesterol-free (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see -free 3.6 citizen-friendly

citizen-friendly (Politics) see -friendly 3.7 claimant...

claimant noun (People and Society) A person claiming a state benefit (especially unemployment benefit). Etymology: A specialized use of the word claimant, which has been used in the more general sense of 'one who makes a claim' since the eighteenth century. History and Usage: The term has been used in official documents since the twenties, but was taken up by the claimants themselves in the seventies as a word offering solidarity; claimants' unions were formed and soon the word started to appear in new contexts such as notices announcing discounts. The administration argues that its tough

program--reviewing records of claimants and actually cutting off benefits from persons deemed able to work--stems from a 1980 law. Christian Science Monitor 27 Mar. 1984, p. 17 A new and unneccessary hurdle for the thousands of claimants who have been unfairly thrown off the disability rolls. New York Times 26 Mar. 1986, section A, p. 22 See also unwaged clamp

transitive verb (Lifestyle and Leisure) To immobilize (an illegally parked car) by attaching a wheel clamp to it. Also, to subject (a person) to the experience of having his or her car clamped. Etymology: A specialized use of the verb, which has existed in the general sense 'to make fast with a clamp' since the seventeenth century. History and Usage: For history and usage, see wheel clamp. In the first eight weeks 4,358 vehicles were clamped with the Denver shoe. Daily Telegraph 14 July 1983, p. 19 We've been clamped!! One just can't avoid every potential hazard!! Holiday Which? Mar. 1990, p. 73

classist adjective and noun (People and Society) adjective: Discriminating against a person or group of people because of their social class; class-prejudiced. noun: A person who holds class prejudices or advocates class discrimination.

Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ist (as in racist and sexist) to class; the corresponding -ism (classism) is a much older word, going back to the middle of the nineteenth century. History and Usage: This word belongs to the debate about social attitudes and motivations which resulted from the feminist movement of the second half of the seventies. The user called another participant in the conversation 'a classist' for arguing that (particular) middle class values and behaviors were superior. American Speech Summer 1988, p. 183 Clause 28 noun (Politics) (People and Society) In the UK, a clause of the Local Government Bill (and later Act) banning local authorities from 'promoting homosexuality', and thereby imposing restrictions on certain books and educational material, works of art, etc.; hence also used allusively for the loss of artistic freedom and mood of homophobia seen by many as the sub-text of this legislation. Sometimes referred to simply as the Clause. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the clause numbered 28 in the original Local Authority Bill. Although the Bill became an Act in mid 1988, and the clause therefore became a section, the term Section 28 did not gain much currency outside government or legal circles. History and Usage: Clause 28 was discussed in Parliament for the first time at the end of 1987 and was welcomed by a large number of Conservative MPs as an expression of their party's commitment to 'traditional family values' and its pledge to tackle the problem of the 'permissive society' which had resulted from increased sexual freedom in the seventies and early eighties. From the opposite side of the political spectrum, though, the emergence of measures like Clause 28 in the late eighties was interpreted as being symptomatic of a growing institutionalized homophobia in the post-Aids era. It was largely the opponents of Clause 28 who continued to use the term--after the Bill became an Act in mid 1988--to allude to

this perceived mood of artistic censorship and repressiveness. The homeless, the loss of artistic freedom (Clause 28), the unemployment figures and the cuts in arts funding were the subjects discussed. Independent on Sunday 18 Nov. 1990, p. 23 In the years immediately following 1967 there was a tripling of the prosecutions for homosexual offences. What is happening today follows the same logic, reshaped by a decade of new right dominance, the impact of aids, and the climate that brought us Clause 28. Gay Times Apr. 1991, p. 3 click

intransitive or transitive verb (Science and Technology) In computing, to press one of the buttons on a mouse; to select (an item represented on-screen, a particular function, etc.) by so doing. Etymology: Click, like zap, began as an onomatopoeic word for any of various small 'mechanical' sounds, such as finger-snaps or the cocking of a gun. The same word was also used as a verb, meaning either 'to make, or cause to make, this sound' or (a later development) 'to operate (a device which clicks)'. The mouse is simply the latest in a succession of possible objects for this later transitive sense. Prodigy uses the mouse extensively...In place of a GEM double click, you have to click both buttons. Music Technology Apr. 1990, p. 36 It allows you to browse until you find the file you're looking for, and, assuming you're in 'recover' mode, click on its name to request the server to deliver it back to your client at the desktop. UnixWorld Jan. 1991, p. 54


transitive verb

In slang, to take notice of (a person or thing), to spot; also, to watch, to stare at. Etymology: Probably derived from the practice of clock-watching, which involves repeated glancing at the clock. History and Usage: This word has been in use in underworld or criminal slang since about the forties, but has recently been taken up by journalists and moved into a rather more respectable register. This is the one rhythm machine that puts you back in the driving seat. Clock the SBX-80 at Roland dealers now. International Musician June 1985, p. 86 Our waiter...was so busy clocking him that he spilt a bottle of precious appleade over the tablecloth. Sunday Express Magazine 3 Aug. 1986, p. 33 clone

noun (Science and Technology) A computer which deliberately simulates the features and facilities of a more expensive competitor; especially, a copy of the IBM PC. Etymology: A specialization of the figurative sense of clone which originated in science fiction: from the early seventies, a clone was a person or animal that had developed from a single somatic cell of its parent and was therefore genetically an identical copy. The computer clones were designed to be identical in capability to the models that inspired them (and, in particular, to run the same software). History and Usage: A usage which arose during the eighties, as a number of microcomputer manufacturers attempted to undercut the very successful IBM personal computer (and later its successor, the PS2). Also widely used for other cut-price copies (for example, of cars and cameras as well as other computers). Amstrad [is] leading the cut price clones attacking IBM

personal computers on price. Marketing 11 Sept. 1986, p. 5 The company is a major porter to Far Eastern clone makers, who are developing copies of Sun Microsystems' SPARC-based workstations. UnixWorld Jan. 1991, p. 68 3.8 cocooning...

cocooning noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) In the US, the practice of nurturing one's family life by spending leisure time in the home with one's family; the valuing of family life and privacy above social contact and advancement. Also as a verb cocoon and an agent noun cocooner. Etymology: This specialized sense derives from the idea of a cocoon as a protective layer or shell: Americans are seen as deliberately retreating from the stressful conditions of life outside the home into the cosy private world of the family. Towards the end of the seventies in his book Manwatching, the anthropologist Desmond Morris had observed a similar protective device among people who live or work in crowded places where privacy is difficult to achieve: Flatmates, students sharing a study, sailors in the cramped quarters of a ship, and office staff in crowded workplaces, all have to face this problem. They solve it by 'cocooning'. They use a variety of devices to shut themselves off from the others present. Cocooning can be seen as one step on from the nesting which is characteristic of new parents. History and Usage: The word was apparently coined by Faith Popcorn--a New York trend analyst--in 1986, after analysis of socio-economic trends had shown that people in the US were going out and travelling less, ordering more takeout food to eat at home, doing more of their shopping from catalogues rather than

in person, and showing more interest in traditional pastimes (such as craft work) which could be done at home. Within a few years this had had a significant commercial effect in the US--but it remains to be seen whether the trend will be limited to affluent Americans. Cocooning is seen by some as an up-market way of saying 'being a couch potato'. We are benefitting from 'cocooning'. Everyone wants to spend more time at home with family. Crafts like cross-stitching and fabrics for children and home decorating have experienced tremendous growth. Fortune 30 July 1990, p. 132 You could be...what Americans call a 'cocooner'--a rich yuppie who escapes the violence of society by shutting himself up with his designer wife and baby behind a screen of security alarms. Sunday Express 16 Sept. 1990, p. 25 cohabitation noun (Politics) Coexistence or co-operation in government between members of opposing parties, especially when one is the President and the other the Prime Minister. Hence, by extension, the coexistence of different currencies in a single monetary system. Also as an intransitive verb, cohabit. Etymology: Borrowed into English from French cohabitation. In both languages, this is a figurative use of cohabitation in the sense 'living together as though man and wife, although not actually married'. Political cohabitation is seen as a marriage of inconvenience brought about by the fickleness of the voting public. History and Usage: The word was first used in this sense in English in a report of a speech made by French President Val‚ry Giscard d'Estaing in 1978, during a period of coalition government in France. As the eighties progressed, the French voting public tended to favour a Socialist President (Fran‡ois Mitterrand) in combination with a conservative Prime Minister,

making cohabitation a fact of life in French politics. During the discussion of EMS and EMU° in the late eighties, the word was used by journalists in a transferred sense to refer to the coexistence of different standards for European currencies. Like France, Portugal is adjusting to the 'cohabitation' of a Socialist president and a conservative Prime Minister. Economist 5 Apr. 1986, p. 57 Via EMS, the D-mark became Europe's leading currency, while the yen and the dollar cohabited. Business Apr. 1990, p. 43 cold call verb and noun (Business World) In marketing jargon, transitive verb: To make an unsolicited telephone call or visit to (a prospective customer) as a way of selling a product. noun: A marketing call on a person who has not previously expressed any interest in the product. Also as an action noun cold calling. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the call, whether by telephone or in person, is made cold, without any previous warm-up, or preparation of the ground. History and Usage: The term was first used in the early seventies as a more jargony equivalent for 'door-to-door selling' (and at that time cold calling was mostly done door-to-door); in the eighties the rise of telemarketing (see tele-) and the emphasis on 'hard sell' has meant a huge increase in cold calling by telephone. On the first cold call I ever made I started saying what I had been trained to say when to my astonishment the person I had rung said 'yes'. Marketing 11 Sept. 1986, p. 20

We've never been happy with 'cold calling' and are very disappointed that the FSA extended it further. People don't make calm, rational decisions if they're smooth-talked into signing by strangers in their homes. Which? Jan. 1990, p. 35 Financial salesmen will be able to 'cold call' customers and sell investment trust savings schemes. The Times 30 Mar. 1990, p. 23 collectable noun Also written collectible (especially in the US) (Lifestyle and Leisure) Any article which might form part of a collection or is sought after by collectors, especially a small and relatively inexpensive item or one expressly produced for collectors. Etymology: Formed by turning the adjective collectable into a noun. In its more general sense the adjective simply means 'that may be collected', but it has been used by collectors to mean 'worth collecting, sought after' since the end of the last century. History and Usage: Not a particularly new word--even as a noun--among collectors themselves, but one which has enjoyed increased exposure in the past decade, partly through the boom in collecting as a hobby. The noun is nearly always used in the plural. What distinguishes all these catalog 'collectibles' is that they are at once ugly, of doubtful value, and expensive. Paul Fussell Class (1983), p. 119 The wonderful thing about 'collectables' is that anyone with just a few extra pounds can become a collector. Miller's Collectables Price Guide 1989-90, volume 1,

p. 5 colourize transitive verb Written colorize in the US (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) To add colour to (a black-and-white film) by a computerized process called Colorizer (a trade mark). Also as an adjective colourized; noun colourization. Etymology: The verb has existed in the sense 'to colour' since the seventeenth century, but was rarely used until the invention of the Colorizer. This use of the verb is likely to be a back-formation from Colorizer rather than a straightforward sense development. History and Usage: The Colorizer program has been used in Canada since the early eighties; the name was registered as a trade mark in the mid eighties. Also during the mid eighties, the practice of colourizing classic black-and-white films (especially for release as home videos) caused considerable controversy, with one side claiming that a company which had bought the rights to a particular film should be allowed to do as it wished with it, and the other maintaining that classic films were works of art not to be tampered with in any way. 'Colorizing' great movies such as like spray-painting the Venus de Milo. Time 5 Nov. 1984, p. 10 Rather than legislate directly against the business interests that stood to profit from colorization, Congress approved provisions under which films could be given landmark status and protected...When broadcast recently on TBS, colorized pictures have been labeled as such. Philadelphia Inquirer 20 Sept. 1989, section A, p. 4 commodification noun (Business World) The process of turning something into a commodity or viewing it

in commercial terms when it is not by nature commercial; commercialization. Etymology: Formed by adding the process suffix -ification to the first two syllables of commodity. History and Usage: Coined in the seventies, commodification has become a fashionable word to describe the eighties' increasingly commercial approach to the Arts and to services (such as health care) which would not previously have been regarded as marketable. In financial sources, the word has also been used to refer to the tendency in the late eighties for money to be traded as though it were a commodity. [Artists] have made conscious attempts over the last decade to combat the relentless commodification of their products. Lucy Lippard Overlay (1983), p. 6 community antenna television (Lifestyle and Leisure) see cable television community charge noun (Business World) (Politics) In Great Britain, a charge for local services at a level fixed annually by the local authority and in principle payable by every adult resident; the official name for the tax popularly known as the poll tax. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a charge for community services, and payable by every adult resident of the community who is not specially exempted. History and Usage: The government announced its intention to replace the system of household rates with a community charge in 1985; the original plan was for a flat-rate charge of œ50 per person. The plan was first put into effect in Scotland in 1989 and in the rest of Great Britain (but not Northern Ireland) in 1990. In both places it met with considerable opposition and a campaign of non-payment, not least because of the high level of tax fixed by many local authorities, the large discrepancies

from one area to another, and the absence of any kind of means testing from the system (although those on low incomes could apply for rebates). The government's decision to cap the tax in high-spending areas only compounded the problem, since bills had already been issued by many of the local authorities affected. Community charge is the official term used by the government and some local authorities; popularly, though, and in some literature issued by non-Conservative local authorities, it is known as poll tax. In April 1991, the government announced the result of its review of the community charge, which, it said, would be replaced after consultation by a property-based council tax by 1993. You don't pay the personal charge if you're...a prisoner, unless you're inside for not paying the community charge or a fine. Which? Oct. 1989, p. 476 This week's violent community charge agitation has sparked a dramatic resurgence in the fortunes of Militant Tendency and other Trotskyite groups. The Times 8 Mar. 1990, p. 5 compact disc (Science and Technology) see CD compassion fatigue (People and Society) A temporarily indifferent or unsympathetic attitude towards others' suffering as a result of overexposure to charitable appeals. Etymology: Formed by compounding: fatigue affecting one's capacity for compassion. History and Usage: Compassion fatigue was first written about in the US in the early eighties, and at first was used mainly in the context of refugee appeals and the resulting pressure on immigration policy there. In the UK compassion fatigue was first mentioned when famines in Ethiopia in 1984-5 became the subject

of graphic television appeals, followed by large-scale fund-raising events such as Band Aid (see -Aid). It was feared that the British public could only stand the sight of so many starving children before 'switching off' emotionally to their suffering, but in the event the response to these appeals was good and it seemed that the issues most vulnerable to compassion fatigue were the ones generally perceived as 'old news'. The same effect on governmental agencies has been described as aid fatigue. Geldof, the Irish rock musician who conceived the event and spearheaded its hasty implementation, said that he 'wanted to get this done before compassion fatigue set in', following such projects as the African fund-raising records 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' and 'We Are the World'. New York Times 22 Sept. 1985, section 2, p. 28 It is a chilling vision, a cataclysm. Compassion fatigue be damned. There is no doubt that we in Britain, without ceasing to wage our domestic battle against Aids, should be careful not to forget Africa, fighting its far more savage war. Independent on Sunday 1 Apr. 1990, Sunday Review section, p. 10 complementary adjective (Health and Fitness) Of a therapy or health treatment: intended to complement orthodox medical practices; alternative, naturopathic. Also of a practitioner: not belonging to the traditional medical establishment. Etymology: A specialized application of complementary in its normal sense, 'forming a complement', the idea being that the alternative therapies do not compete with traditional medicine, but form a natural complement to it. This is the successor to the earlier and more dismissive 'fringe medicine', which saw these techniques as being on--or even beyond--the fringe of conventional medicine.

History and Usage: The term complementary medicine was coined by Stephen Fulder and Robin Munro in a report on the use of these techniques in the UK, published in 1982: After extensive consideration of titles such as 'alternative medicine', 'fringe medicine' or 'natural therapeutics' we have decided to use the term ' complementary medicine' to describe systems...which stand apart from but are in some ways complementary to conventional scientific medicine. Since then it has become very common, reflecting the change in public attitudes to these techniques during the decade (from 'fringe' or even 'quack' medicine to an accepted approach). Apart from complementary medicine, the adjective is used in complementary therapist, complementary practitioner, etc. The Research Council for Complementary Medicine (RCCM) was set up to find research methods acceptable to both complementary and conventional practitioners. Practical Health Spring 1990, pull-out section, p. 5 The plight of Mrs S wishing to fight cancer with complementary medicine before surgery...but rejected for this reason by five doctors is sad indeed. She could no doubt be helped by more than one complementary therapy. Kindred Spirit Summer 1990, p. 38 computer-aided tomography, computer-assisted tomography (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) see CAT° computerate adjective (Science and Technology) Proficient in the theory and practice of computing; computer-literate. Etymology: Formed by combining computer and literate into a blend, taking advantage of the shared syllable -ter-. There was a precedent for this concept in the words numeracy and numerate

(mathematically literate), which in the late fifties introduced the idea of a range of skills modelled on literacy/literate. History and Usage: When computing skills became sought after in the job markets in the seventies, there was much discussion of computer literacy and the need to provide a general education which would produce computer-literate individuals. It was a short step from this metaphor to the blend computerate, which started to appear in the early eighties. The corresponding noun computeracy has been used colloquially since the late sixties, but also attained a more general currency during the eighties. A similar, but less successful, coinage is the punning adjective computent, competent in the use of computers (coined by Richard Sarson in the mid eighties), along with its corresponding noun computence. Chapman and Hall are looking for a numerate and computerate person with publishing experience. New Scientist 30 Aug. 1984, p. 59 Computeracy will not solve all your problems. headline in Guardian 28 Feb. 1985, p. 25 Andy's computence did not make him a philosopher or a captain of industry...But he passed on some of his computence to me, for which I will always be grateful...Computent Andy, illiterate and innumerate in the eyes of the educational system though he may be, has made me computent, and thereby more literate and numerate than I was. The Times 19 Apr. 1988, p. 33 computer-friendly (Science and Technology) see -friendly computerized axial tomography (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) see CAT° computer virus (Science and Technology) see virus


noun (Health and Fitness)

A sheath made of thin rubber and worn over the penis during sexual intercourse, either to prevent conception or as a prophylactic measure. Etymology: Of unknown origin; often said to be the name of its inventor, although this theory has never been proved. History and Usage: The word has been used in this sense in English since the early eighteenth century. It is included here only because it acquired a renewed currency--and a new respectability--in the language as a direct result of the spread of Aids in the 1980s. Whereas sheath or trade marks such as Durex were the only terms (apart from slang expressions) in widespread popular use in the UK immediately before the advent of Aids, it was condom that was chosen for repeated use in government advertising campaigns designed to explain the concept of safe sex to the general public in the mid eighties. Soon the word had become so widespread that there were even reports of schoolchildren who had invented a new version of the playground game tag in which the safe area was not the 'den' but the condom. The pronunciation with full quality given to both vowels /--/ belongs only to this twentieth-century use (in the past it had been pronounced /--/ or /--/, to rhyme at the end with conundrum) and possibly reflects the unfamiliarity of the word to the speakers of the government advertisements. In 1988 there was an attempt to introduce a condom for women to wear; meanwhile, the buying of the male version was presented very much as a joint duty for any Aids-conscious couple. This emphasis in advertising, as well as the generally permissive attitude to sexual relationships of any orientation in the eighties, led to the development of the nickname condom culture, used especially by those who favoured stricter sexual morals. More women should buy, carry and use condoms to help stop the spread of Aids, according to the organisers of National Condom Week, which starts today. The intention is to encourage people to get used to buying and carrying the contraceptives without embarrassment or inhibition.

Guardian 7 Aug. 1989, p. 5 The government has promoted a 'condom culture' of sex without commitment as part of a dismal record on support of family life, the National Family Trust claims today. Daily Telegraph 11 Aug. 1989, p. 2 Everyone on the docks has...condoms...Pull a kid aside...and he'll tell you he doesn't need them...Does it sound to you like I need to put on a bag? Village Voice (New York) 30 Jan. 1990, p. 34 connectivity (Science and Technology) see neural consumer terrorism (People and Society) see tamper contra

noun Sometimes written Contra (Politics) A member of any of the guerrilla forces which opposed the Sandinista government in Nicaragua between 1979 and 1990; often written in the plural contras, these forces considered collectively. Etymology: An abbreviated form of the Spanish word contrarrevolucionario 'counter-revolutionary', probably influenced by Latin contra 'against'. History and Usage: The word appeared on the US political scene at the very beginning of the eighties and became an increasingly hot issue in view of the US presidential administration's desire to aid the overthrow of the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. This reached its peak in the Iran-contra affair of 1986, when it was alleged that profits from US arms sales to Iran had been diverted to aid the contras, even though legislation had by then been passed to prevent any material aid from being sent; the ensuing Congressional hearings made the word contra known throughout the English-speaking world even if reporting of the long civil war in Nicaragua itself had not. Despite a plan agreed by Central American leaders in August 1989 to 'disband'

the rebels, even the end of the Sandinista government after the elections in 1990 did not immediately bring an end to guerrilla activity from the contras. Oliver North, the ex-Marine colonel at the heart of the Iran-contra affair, whom Ronald Reagan dubbed 'a true American hero', was yesterday spared a prison term. Guardian 6 July 1989, p. 20 The scenario clearly involved some kind of trade-off of contra aid and drugs and money. Interview Mar. 1990, p. 42 contraflow noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) In the UK, a temporary traffic flow system (for example during carriageway repairs on a motorway) in which traffic is diverted on to the outer lane or lanes of the opposite carriageway, so that the carriageway which remains fully operational is in effect a temporary two-way road. Etymology: Contraflow has existed as a word meaning 'flow in the opposite direction' since the thirties; the traffic use is a specialized application of this sense. History and Usage: The first contraflow systems on British roads--at least, the first to be called contraflow--appeared in the seventies. As the country's system of motorways began to age in the eighties, the contraflow became a seemingly ubiquitous sight and one was reported on radio traffic news almost every day. Sometimes contraflow is used on its own to signify the whole traffic-flow system; often, though, it is used attributively in contraflow system, etc. Resurfacing...has meant closing the northbound section and funnelling traffic into a contraflow system of two lanes each way on the southbound side. The Times 9 Apr. 1985, p. 3

A spokesman said the contraflow was working smoothly at the time of the crash and visibility was good. Daily Telegraph 7 Sept. 1987, p. 4 Contragate (Politics) see -gate cook-chill adjective and noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) adjective: Of foods: sold in a pre-cooked and refrigerated form, for consumption within a specified time (usually after thorough reheating). Also in the form cook-chilled. noun: The process of pre-cooking and refrigerating foods for reheating later. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the principle is first to cook and then to chill the food. History and Usage: The system was invented as an offshoot of partially cooked frozen meals, and had become popular in institutional catering by the early eighties. The term was widely popularized in the UK in 1989, when there was an increase in cases of listeriosis thought to be caused at least in part by failure to store cook-chill foods correctly or reheat them thoroughly. The Department of Health has already advised people in at-risk groups not to eat cook-chill foods cold, and--if you buy one to eat hot--to make sure that it's reheated until it's 'piping hot'. Which? Apr. 1990, p. 206 core wars plural noun (Science and Technology) In computing jargon, a type of computer game played by programming experts, in which the object is to design and run a program which will destroy the one designed and run by the opponent.

Etymology: Formed by compounding; core is a reference to the old ferromagnetic cores which made up the memory elements of computers used in the fifties and sixties, before the advent of semiconductor chips. Active memory is still sometimes referred to as core memory, even in modern computers. History and Usage: The 'sport' of core wars originated among computer scientists at Bell Laboratories in the US in the late fifties and sixties and was originally the proper name of a program developed by the computer-games group there. It was popularized in the US in the mid eighties, probably as a more respectable offshoot of the interest in mischievous programs such as the computer virus and worm and in defensive programming techniques which could be used to protect software from attack. By 1986 it had been raised to the level of international competition, but remains a minority interest. Robert Morris Sr....played a game based on a computer virus over 40 years ago...Called Core Wars, the game centered around the design of a program that multiplied and tried to destroy other players' programs. Personal Computing May 1989, p. 92 corn circle (Environment) see crop circle cornflakes (Drugs) see angel dust corn-free (Lifestyle and Leisure) see -free corpocracy noun (Business World) Corporate bureaucracy: bureaucratic organization in large companies (or in a particular company), especially when excessively hierarchical structures lead to overstaffing and inefficiency. Such companies are described as corpocratic; a director of one is a corpocrat. Etymology: Formed by combining the first two syllables of corporate with the last two of bureaucracy to make a blend.

History and Usage: The word was coined by American economist Robert Heller in his book The Common Millionaire (1974), but was still sufficiently unfamiliar in the mid eighties for John S. Berry and Mark Green to present it as a new coinage in The Challenge of Hidden Profits: Reducing Corporate Bureaucracy and Waste (1985). In the UK the word--although not the phenomenon--was popularized by financier Sir James Goldsmith. Corpocracy was presented as an important reason for the uncompetitiveness of British and American businesses during the eighties. It doesn't believe much in hierarchy, rule books, dress codes, company cars, executive dining rooms, lofty titles, country club memberships or most other trappings of corpocracy. Forbes 23 Mar. 1987, p. 154 Such a complete change of direction is not likely to be welcomed by directors who I would describe as complacent or entrenched in their current 'corpocratic' culture. Sir James Goldsmith in First, 3.3 (1989), p. 18 corporate makeover (Business World) see makeover couch potato noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society) In slang, a person who spends leisure time passively (for example by sitting watching television or videos), eats junk food, and takes little or no physical exercise. Etymology: Formed by compounding; a person with the physical shape of a potato who spends as much time as possible slouching on the couch. The original humorous coinage by Californian Tom Iacino relied on a pun: because of their love for continuous viewing of the television (known in US slang as the boob tube, unlike British slang, which uses the term for a skimpy stretch bodice), these people had formerly been called boob tubers; for their emblem, cartoonist Robert Armstrong therefore drew the

best known tuber--a potato--reclining on a couch watching TV, formed a club called The Couch Potatoes, and later went on to register the term as a trade mark. History and Usage: The US trade mark registration for the term couch potato claims that it was first used on 15 July 1976. Robert Armstrong (who is really responsible for popularizing the term and maintaining the cult) has claimed that this coinage was not his, attributing it instead to Tom Iacino, another 'Elder' of the cult, who used it when asking to speak to a fellow Elder (known only as 'The Hallidonian') on the telephone. The Couch Potatoes club which Armstrong formed aimed to raise the self-esteem of tubers, and provided a counterbalance to the cult of physical fitness which was by then a dominant influence in American society. With the growth of the domestic video market, the couch potato cult became very popular during the eighties and resulted in much merchandising-- couch potato teeshirts, dolls, stationery, books, etc. designed to promote pride in the tuber culture. Many variations on the term developed too: the obvious couch potatoing and couch potatodom and a whole range of words based on spud, such as vid spud, telespud, spud suit, and spudismo. With the coining of the trend analyst's term cocooning in 1986, couch potatoes felt that their way of life was being officially recognized; however, a National Children and Youth Fitness Study carried out in the US in 1987 made it clear that it was not to be officially condoned, criticizing parents for not getting children to take outdoor exercise and for raising a nation of couch potatoes. The couch potato concept and merchandising reached the UK in the late eighties, although the lifestyle had existed without a name for some time before that. Though Mr. Armstrong's brainchild has yet to make him rich, he is still undaunted, spreading the Couch Potato gospel: 'We feel that watching TV is an indigenous American form of meditation. We call it "transcendental vegetation".' Parade 3 Jan. 1988, p. 6 The economy could be thrown into recession because of the couch potato's penchant for staying home with the family, watching TV and munching on microwave popcorn.

Atlanta Oct. 1989, p. 61 council tax (Business World) (Politics) see community charge counter-culture noun Also written counter culture or counterculture (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) A radical, alternative culture, especially among young people, that seeks out new values to replace the established and conventional. Etymology: Formed by adding the prefix counter- (an anglicized form of the Latin contra 'against') to culture: something that rebels against established culture. History and Usage: The counter-culture has, in a sense, always been with us, since the younger generation in each succeeding age rebels against the values of its parents and tries to establish a new lifestyle; but the word counter-culture was first used in the US to describe the hippie culture of the sixties by those who looked back on it from the end of the decade. The concept was popularized by Theodore Roszak in his book The Making of a Counter-Culture (1969). Counter-culture has come to be used especially to refer to any lifestyle which attempts to get away from the materialism and consumption of the post-war Western world; in the eighties, it has tended to give way to the word alternative, especially in British English. A follower of the counter-culture is a counter-culturalist. The counter-culture ponytail is gone, sacrificed to the heat of arena lights and the sizzling sweat of the fast-break pace. Time 30 May 1977, p. 40 It was the counter-culture, the alternative society, a middle-class movement, an explosion of creative energy, a bunch of unwashed, stoned-out air heads. Observer 23 Oct. 1988, p. 43

The fact that so many counter-culturalists have now cut their hair...and...become green 'rainbow warriors', is a point which seems to have been overlooked. Films & Filming Mar. 1990, p. 50 courseware (Science and Technology) see -ware Cowabunga Originally written kowa-bunga or Kawabonga; now also cowabunga interjection (Youth Culture) In young people's slang (originally in the US), an exclamation of exhilaration or satisfaction, or sometimes a rallying cry to action: yippee!, yahoo!, yabbadabba doo! Etymology: The word was originally used in the fifties (in the form kowa-bunga or Kawabonga) as an exclamation of anger by the cartoon character Chief Thunderthud in The Howdy Doody Show, written by Eddie Kean. By the sixties, it had entered surfing slang as a cry of exhilaration when riding the crest of a wave. Since the surfers of the sixties had been the children for whom The Howdy Doody Show was written, it is easy to see how the word made this transition; it is less clear how Eddie Kean came upon it. Chief Thunderthud used the expression when annoyed, or if something went wrong; when things went well, he said Kawagoopa. Although Thunderthud was meant to be an American Indian, there had been early speculation that cowabunga might come from the Australian or South Seas surfing world; interestingly, kauwul is recorded as an aboriginal word in New South Wales for 'big', bong for 'death', and gubba for 'good', but this is surely no more than a curious coincidence. History and Usage: As mentioned above, Cowabunga was in use as an exclamation among Californian surfers by the sixties. It reached a wider audience through a series of films about a surfer called Gidget in the sixties, through its use by the cookie monster in the children's television series Sesame Street in the seventies, and more particularly from 1990, when it was taken up as the rallying cry of the Teenage Mutant Turtles. In the book of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: the Movie, the turtles are searching for a suitable cry:

They turned to Donatello, who struggled to come up with the perfect word to describe their exploits. But Donatello was at a loss. His brothers continued to top each other: 'Tubular!' 'Radical!' 'Dynamite!' At last Splinter raised a finger and brought an end to the debate. 'I have always liked', he said quietly, 'cowabunga.' The turtles stared at him, grinning, then laid down high-threes all around. 'Cow-a-bung-a!' they cried in unison. And the battle-cry was born. The word soon crossed the Atlantic as part of turtlemania, with the result that one could hear the cry of 'Cowabunga, dudes!' from British children apparently unaware that, as far as their parents were concerned, they were speaking a foreign language. 'Hey, Mike, I didn't know that you could drive!' 'Me neither...cowabunga!' Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles 10-23 Feb. 1990, p. 20 Marketers are betting that youngsters will have the same reaction as American kids: Cowabunga! Newsweek 16 Apr. 1990, p. 61 3.9 crack...


noun (Drugs) In the slang of drug users, a highly addictive, crystalline form of cocaine made by heating a mixture of it with baking powder and water until it is hard, and breaking it into small pieces which are burnt and smoked for their stimulating effect. Etymology: The name arises from the fact that the hard-baked substance has to be cracked into small pieces for use, as well as the cracking sound the pieces make when smoked. History and Usage: The substance itself first came to the attention of US drug enforcement agencies in 1983, but at that time was generally known on the streets as rock or freebase. The name crack appeared during 1985 and by 1986 had become

established as the usual term, both among drug users and by the authorities; since 1988, the fuller term crack cocaine has tended to replace crack alone in official use. Crack's appearance on the US drug market coincided with a marked rise in violent crime, testifying to its potency and addictiveness, with users prepared to go to almost any lengths to get more. The word crack quickly became the basis for compounds, notably crackhead (in drugs slang, a user of crack) and crack house (a house where crack is prepared or from which it is sold). The phrasal verb crack (it) up has also acquired the specialized meaning in drugs slang of smoking crack. In New York and Los Angeles drug dealers have opened up drug galleries, called 'crack houses'. San Francisco Chronicle 6 Dec. 1985, p. 3 'Crack it up, crack it up,' the drug dealers murmur from the leafy parks of the suburbs to New York City's meanest streets. Time 4 Aug. 1986, p. 27 Charlie and two fellow 'crackheads' took me to a vast concrete housing estate in South London where crack is on sale for between œ20 and œ25 a deal. Observer 24 July 1988, p. 15 Some crack users [in Washington DC], unable to work for a living, will go out with a lead pipe or a bat and hit defenceless women. Japan Times 19 May 1989, p. 20 See also wack cracking (Science and Technology) (Youth Culture) see hack crank

verb (Drugs) In the slang of drug users in the UK: to inject (a drug). Often as a phrasal verb crank up.

Etymology: A figurative use of the verb which normally means 'to start a motor by turning the crank'; a synonym in drugs slang for jack (up), which follows a similar type of metaphor. History and Usage: A word which has been used by drug users in the UK since about the beginning of the seventies, crank seems to be a rare example of a piece of drugs slang which is exclusively British. US drugs slang has crank as a noun for methamphetamine and cranking for repeated use of methamphetamine, but the verb is apparently not used at all. In Britain, it is normally used in the context of heroin injection. 'Where do you inject?' 'Me feet, me arms, me hands.' 'Would you give up cranking?' 'No, it's the needle I'm into.' Sunday Telegraph 29 Oct. 1989, p. 15 creative adjective (Business World) Used euphemistically in the language of finance: exploiting loopholes in financial legislation so as to gain maximum advantage or present figures in a misleadingly favourable light; ingenious or inventive. Etymology: A figurative extension of meaning: creative had been used of writing that was inventive or imaginative since the early nineteenth century, and in context frequently meant no more than 'fictional'. The creative accountant's task is to interpret the figures imaginatively, with the result that a largely fictional picture of events is often presented. History and Usage: Used in the business world (especially in creative accountancy or creative accounting) since the early seventies, the euphemism was popularized in the mid eighties, when it was rumoured that the technique had been used in presenting both central and local government figures. At this time creative accounting also became the subject of a number of books published for people running small businesses or working on their own. Mr Nicholas Ridley, the Secretary of State for the

Environment, is today expected to warn high-spending councils that he is ready to take tough new action to stamp out 'creative accounting'. The Times 21 Nov. 1986, p. 2 cred°

noun (Youth Culture) In young people's slang: credibility, reputation, peer status. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating credibility to its first syllable. History and Usage: The emphasis on cred in the early nineties arises from the concept of street credibility which developed at the very end of the seventies. Street credibility (which by the early eighties was being abbreviated to street cred) originally involved popularity with, and accessibility to, members of the urban street culture, who were seen as representing ordinary people. Before long, though, the term had come to mean familiarity with contemporary fashions--or the extent to which a person was 'hip'. Once the concept was established, the word street was often dropped, leaving cred alone. 'Cred' was achieved by your rhetorical stance and no one had more credibility than the Clash. Bob Geldof Is That It? (1986), p. 125 'They've got to have total cred,' Boxall insisted, when listing the special qualities he is looking for [in a magazine editor]. Sydney Morning Herald 1 Feb. 1990, p. 28


noun (Business World) In colloquial use (originally in the US): financial credit. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating credit to its first syllable. History and Usage: A natural development in view of the boom in the use of credit facilities during the late seventies and

eighties. Also used in combinations, especially cred card. Neat trick, eh? Cash and cred all in one bundle. The Face Jan. 1989, p. 61 credit card (Business World) see card° crew

noun (Youth Culture) In hip hop culture, a group of rappers, break-dancers, graffiti artists, etc. working together as a team. Also, loosely, one's gang or posse. Etymology: A specialized use of crew in the sense of 'a body or squad of people working together', which goes back to the seventeenth century. In this case, there is probably a conscious allusion to the Rock Steady Crew: see break-dancing. History and Usage: Originally used mainly of groups of rappers (from about 1982 in the US), the term was soon applied to street groups using other hip-hop forms of expression such as break-dancing and graffiti (see tagý) and by the end of the decade had been adopted more generally by groups of youngsters. To kids out of the South Bronx and Harlem, what the top crews make is big bucks. For a one-night gig...a dancer takes home $150 to $300. Village Voice (New York) 10 Apr. 1984, p. 38 He and four friends, members of a crew of graffiti artists who call themselves the L.A. Beastie Boys, gathered at the park. Los Angeles Times 22 Oct. 1987, section 10 (Glendale), p. 1

crop circle noun (Environment) A (usually circular) area of standing crops which has been

inexplicably flattened, apparently by a swirling, vortex-like movement. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a circle of flattened crop. History and Usage: The puzzling phenomenon of crop circles (sometimes also called corn circles) has been perplexing scientists for about a decade. Since the early eighties increasing numbers of circles and other patterns have been reported in areas as far apart as the South of England, the farming belt of the US, and Australia, often appearing overnight. A number of theories--ranging from meteorological changes or fungi to alien spaceships or the activity of hoaxers--have been put forward to explain them, but none has been conclusive. They are the result not of the supernatural but of an everyday, common garden variety of fungi, according to biologists Mr Michael Hall and Mr Andrew Macara, who have been conducting a study into the crop circle conundrum. Sunday Telegraph 11 Mar. 1990, p. 5 Could the enormous increase in the perplexing crop circles be anything to do with the Earth's vital energies? Kindred Spirit Summer 1990, p. 26 crossover noun and adjective Sometimes written cross-over (Music) (People and Society) noun: The process of moving from one culture (or especially from one musical genre) to another; something or someone that has done this (specifically, a musical act or artist that has moved from a specialized appeal in one limited area of music into the general popular-music charts). adjective: (Of a person) that has made this transition from one culture or genre to another; (of music, an act, etc.) appealing to a wide audience outside its genre, sometimes by mixing musical styles.

Etymology: The noun is formed on the verbal phrase cross over and has been used in a number of specialized senses in English since the eighteenth century. The cultural sense here is perhaps in part a figurative application of the genetic crossover (one of the word's specialized senses, in use since the early years of this century), in which the characteristics of both parents are displayed as a result of the crossing over of pairs of chromosomes. History and Usage: Since the sixties, crossover has been used in politics (especially in the US) in relation to the practice or tactic of switching votes from the party with which one is registered to another party--for instance in a State primary. Within the music industry crossover was being used by the mid seventies in relation to records in the country charts which were tending to cross over into popular music generally, and it was not long before this process became more generalized, for example as various Black sounds acquired a more general appeal to White audiences. In the eighties, crossover was one of the favourite words of the music industry and there was plenty of scope for its use, as soundtracks from films and television series increasingly figured in the charts and the big names of classical music ventured into middle-of-the-road and easy listening recordings. In the broader cultural context sociologists use crossover to refer to the way in which people from one ethnic background consciously leave their roots culture for another, more prestigious one; this has led to an extended use of crossover in relation to fashion, as ethnic cultures acquired high prestige and became fashionable in Western society. Other extended uses of the word included actresses crossing over from theatre to films and even a supermarket which had gone over to wholefoods to cash in on the new green culture of the late eighties. 'I think the crossover has already started happening', says Salman Ahmed. 'This year I've noticed a lot of white and coloured kids at the shows...' Within the world of bhangra there are mixed reactions to the idea of crossover. Sunday Telegraph Magazine 22 May 1988, p. 38

It showed the group making the crossover from deft-but-faceless R&B outfit to 'far out' funkers. Q Dec. 1989, p. 169 Blame prefigured what fashion mood critics would soon call 'crossover culture'--the white mainstream's fresh infatuation with black style. Vogue Sept. 1990, p. 87 crucial adjective (Youth Culture) In young people's slang: very good or important, great, fantastic. Etymology: An example of the way in which meaning is weakened and trivialized in the idiom of young people: compare ace, awesome, and rad. History and Usage: Crucial belongs to the slang usage of the very young (largely the pre-teenage group) in the late eighties. It was popularized especially by children's television presenters and other media personalities, notably the comedian Lenny Henry, who devoted a whole book to the subject. As often happens with such slang words, the respectability which crucial gained by being used in print caused it to go out of fashion rather among the youngsters who were using it. Martha (aged seven): 'Lenny Henry, he wrote the "guide to cruciality", so we don't say crucial no more.' New Statesman 16 Feb. 1990, p. 12 The very latest buzz-word, after last year's favourite sayings like 'mental, mental', 'crucial' and 'wicked', is 'raw'. Daily Star 20 Mar. 1990, p. 13 I have worn out three sets of trainers running around telling my friends how crucial Young Eye is.

Private Eye 26 Oct. 1990, p. 21 cruelty-free adjective (Environment) Of cosmetics and other goods: not tested (or only minimally tested) on animals during development; produced ostensibly without involving any cruelty to animals. Etymology: For etymology, see -free. History and Usage: This is a term which started to appear in the late eighties as a natural consequence of the increasingly well-publicized animal liberation movement--a movement whose arguments seemed to get a more sympathetic hearing once green views in general became acceptable. Cruelty-free often appears on the labels of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and other everyday products which have hitherto been routinely tested on laboratory animals but are now produced without actual cruelty (although the interpretation of 'actual cruelty' evidently still varies); vegetarians also sometimes use it to refer to animal-free food products. Mary Bonner showed over 50 people how enjoyable a cruelty-free Christmas can be with her celebration roast, mushroom stuffing and red wine sauce, vegan Christmas Cake and mince pies. Vegetarian Mar./Apr. 1988, p. 42 Pamphlets that bring news of...where they can purchase 'cruelty-free' soaps and shampoos. Forbes 20 Mar. 1989, p. 44 crumblie noun (People and Society) (Youth Culture) In young people's slang: an old or senile person (older than a wrinklie). Etymology: Formed by treating a figurative sense of the adjective as a noun; the metaphor relies on the assumption among the young that all elderly people will eventually 'crack up' and

become senile. This process of crumbling, they suppose, is the natural next step after going wrinkly. History and Usage: Used mainly by children and teenagers from about the late seventies, and apparently limited to British English. The growing fashion among teenagers is to describe their parents as 'wrinklies' and their grandparents as 'crumblies'. A reader, however, tells me how she countered this when...she described her own children, in their earshot, as 'pimplies'. Daily Telegraph 26 Jan. 1987, p. 17 cryo-

combining form (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) Widely used in compounds relating to extreme cold, especially when this is an artificial means of preserving tissue. Etymology: From the Greek kruos 'frost, icy cold'. History and Usage: Early words formed with this combining form concerned temperatures not much below the freezing point of water. However, as it became possible to create lower and lower temperatures artificially, cryo- came to be associated with the sort of intense cold that could only be achieved with the aid of 'cold-creating' or cryogenic equipment, such as apparatus for liquefying nitrogen or other gases. During the sixties and seventies the creation of such temperatures began to find applications in electronics and surgery: below a certain point some materials become superconductors, that is to say they lose all electrical resistance, which makes them very useful in a wide range of applications (in brilliant pebbles, for example), while cryosurgery uses intense cold to remove or destroy tissue just as effectively as heat. Until the late seventies cryonics (or cryopreservation), the use of extreme cold to preserve living tissue, had remained at an experimental stage because of the tendency of water to expand when frozen--making the formation of ice crystals within living cells lethally damaging. However, study of the few animals which can survive freezing led to the development of substances which circumvent some of the problems (cryoprotectants). During the eighties it became

possible to cryopreserve an increasingly wide range of tissues for future use: sperm may be stored in a cryobank, and frozen embryos may now be thawed out for cryobirth. The lack of any reliable means of freezing and thawing the entire human body without severe damage has not prevented cryonicists, mostly on the West coast of the US, from setting up businesses offering cryonic suspension to those willing to pay for it, especially the incurably ill (who may wish to be 'thawed out' when a treatment for their condition arrives). Once a month, she goes to the Southern California Cryobank, a commercial sperm bank in Los Angeles, pays $38 for a syringe of sperm packed in dry ice, which she either takes back to the health center for insemination, or takes home. New York Times 20 July 1980, section 6, p. 23 Still others call for these pre-embryos to be cryopreserved--frozen for months, years and perhaps indefinitely. Once the pre-embryos are thawed out, they can be used as if they were fresh. Washington Post 12 Apr. 1988, section Z, p. 14 storing the brains of the frozen hopeful in the bodies of anencephalic babies. Independent 1 Aug. 1988, p. 13 Mr Thomas Donaldson, 46, wants his head cryonically suspended in the anticipation that a way will be found to attach it to a healthy body and cure his brain disorder. Daily Telegraph 3 May 1990, p. 12 A mathematician from Sunnyvale, California, has filed a lawsuit in America for the right to 'cryonic suspension' before death. The Times 27 Oct. 1990, p. 3

crystal healing noun (Health and Fitness) An alternative therapy popular in New Age culture and based on the supposed healing power of pulsar crystals. Sometimes also called crystal therapy or crystal treatment. Etymology: Formed by compounding: healing by crystals. History and Usage: The idea of harnessing the healing power which--according to the crystal healer--emanates from some crystals is not new: its supporters claim that it goes back to the practices of the ancient Greeks. However, it only gained any real popularity with the rise of the New Age movement in California. By the end of the eighties this idea had spread outside the US to other English-speaking countries but was still regarded by many as being on the fringe of serious healing. For the esoteric set, crystal healing, extraterrestrials and transchanneling will be summer pursuits. Los Angeles Times 29 May 1987, section 5, p. 4 Ben says something called crystal healing is one of the new fads brought in by what he calls 'weirdos' from the United States. Sunday Mail Magazine (Brisbane) 10 Apr. 1988, p. 13 crystal meth (Drugs) see ice 3.10 CT


(Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) see CAT°

3.11 cursor...


noun (Science and Technology) A distinctive symbol on a computer screen (such as a flashing

underline or rectangle) which shows where the next character will appear or the next action will take effect, and which can usually be moved about by using a cursor key on the keyboard or a mouse. Etymology: From Latin cursor 'runner' (the agent-noun formed on the verb currere 'to run'). When first used in English (until the middle of the seventeenth century) the word meant a runner or messenger; it then came to be used for a part of a mathematical instrument, etc. that moved backwards and forwards (for example, the transparent slide with a hair-line which forms part of a slide-rule). It was a logical step to its present use in the computer age, since it is the cursor which 'runs' round the screen. History and Usage: The first uses of the word cursor in computer technology are associated with the development of a mouse in the mid sixties, although the idea had been invented (and described using other names such as marker) by John Lentz of IBM in the fifties. Even though the cursor had first been thought of in connection with mouse technology, the principle of having a cursor which was controlled using keys on the keyboard was well-established in home computing in the late seventies, before windows and mice (see WIMPý) became widespread. With the increased popularity of home computing and word-processing in the eighties, cursor has passed from the technical vocabulary into everyday currency. Cursor movement is particularly important in word processing, and well laid-out cursor keys are a real boon. Susan Curran Word Processing for Beginners (1984), p. 31 For home use you may not mind if the cursor is a bit slow to move on occasions. Which? Nov. 1988, p. 524 cuss

(Youth Culture) see diss

cutting edge (Science and Technology) see leading edge

3.12 cyberpunk...

cyberpunk noun Sometimes written Cyberpunk (Lifestyle and Leisure) A style of science fiction writing combining high-tech plots (in which the world is controlled by artificial intelligence) with unconventional or nihilistic social values. Also, a writer of (or sometimes a character in or follower of) cyberpunk. Etymology: Formed by combining the first two syllables of cybernetics (the science of control systems) with punk (probably as an allusion to the hard, aggressive character of punk music, with which cyberpunk has much in common, particularly in its harshness and deliberate attempt to shock). History and Usage: Although only a few years old, cyberpunk has grown into a leading genre of science fiction. The word may have been coined by Gardner Dozois to describe the work of a number of writers in the mid eighties, notably William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. William Gibson's book Neuromancer (1984) is seen as a foundational influence; so much so, in fact, that another name for the writers of this type of fiction is Neuromantics. They have also been called outlaw technologists or the mirror-shades group, while the genre has been called technopunk or radical hard SF as well as cyberpunk. Outside the world of science fiction only cyberpunk has been widely popularized, especially as a result of the television adaptation of Neuromancer, Max Headroom. In 1991 Cyberpunk was the title of Peter von Brandenburg's documentary film on the genre, which itself used some of the techniques characteristic of cyberpunk writing. The purveyors of bizarre, hard-edged, high-tech stuff, who have on occasion been referred to as 'cyberpunks'...They are the '80s generation. Washington Post 30 Dec. 1984, p. 9 It's the Rhetoric of the New. Pitched somewhere between the SF genre of cyberpunk and the mainstream brat novel. Listener 4 May 1989, p. 29

4.0 D

4.1 dairy-free...

dairy-free (Lifestyle and Leisure) see -free daisy chain° noun and verb (Business World) noun: In financial jargon, a string of buyers who concentrate their dealings on a particular stock in order to raise its price artificially. transitive verb: To raise (prices) artificially in this way. Etymology: A specialized use of the figurative sense of daisy chain, which has been used as a noun since the middle of the last century to refer to any linking together of people or things in the fashion of a real daisy chain. History and Usage: A practice which began with strings of traders in crude oil who bought and sold to each other on paper in the seventies, the daisy chain became a shady and only semi-legal activity on the wider market in the mid eighties. The conspirators make a show of activity in their chosen market, thereby pushing up the price and attracting unsuspecting investors. They then pull out, leaving the new investors with overpriced stock. Most countries have tried to curb the practice legally. They have been buying crude from resellers who illegally inflated the prices and supplying products to brokers whose only function was to 'daisy chain' the prices. Washington Post 31 May 1979, section A, p. 11 Can order be brought to the daisy chain market?

The Times 19 Feb. 1986, p. 17 Lincoln traded junk bonds with other daisy chain members at 'artificial and escalating prices so that both parties could recognize artificial and improper profits', the suit said. Los Angeles Times (Orange County edition) 10 Feb. 1990, section D, p. 11 daisy chainý transitive verb (Science and Technology) To link (computers and other electronic devices used with them) to each other in series, forming a chain which is connected to a single controlling device. Etymology: Daisy chain had come to be used as a verb meaning 'to join things together in the manner of a daisy chain' during the middle years of the century; the computing sense is a specialization of that use. Occupying a full-size slot, each SCSI device lets you daisy-chain other devices to it. PC World Oct. 1989, p. 80 Twenty or more players can be daisy-chained to one card. Guardian 18 Jan. 1990, p. 29 daisy wheel noun Also written daisy-wheel or daisywheel (Science and Technology) A removable printing unit in some computer printers and electronic typewriters, consisting of a disc of spokes extending radially from a central hub, each spoke having a single printing character at its outer end. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a wheel which in some ways resembles a daisy with its radiating 'petals'.

History and Usage: The daisy wheel type of printer was introduced in the late seventies and proved a popular alternative to dot-matrix printing in cases where clear, typewriter-like quality was needed. The wheel revolves to position the next character in front of a single hammer (a process which in the early machines was both slow and noisy, although this was improved in later models). The wheels are removable, allowing a number of different scripts or founts to be used on a single printer, but only text can be printed (a limitation which does not apply to the cheaper, poorer-quality dot-matrix or the more expensive, top-quality laser printers--both can also print graphics such as charts and graphs). As I write, an IBM word processor with daisywheel sits malevolently waiting for me in a customs shed. Anthony Burgess Homage to QWERTYUIOP (1986), p. xii damage limitation noun (Politics) The action or process of minimizing the damage to one's cause (usually a political one) after an accident, mistake, etc. has occurred. Also sometimes called damage control. Etymology: Formed by compounding. History and Usage: The term damage limitation was first used in the mid sixties to refer to a policy in US politics of planning for the disaster of nuclear war, so as to have mechanisms in place for minimizing the damage to the US of a first strike by the enemy; damage control originated in international shipping law and later came to be used figuratively in politics. Both terms were applied in new contexts in the eighties as a series of political scandals and mistakes involving individual politicians or whole parties threatened to affect the polls unless damage-limiting measures were taken. The meeting decided to put Lord Whitelaw in charge of a 'damage limitation' exercise. Part of this would be a speech by Mrs Thatcher distancing the government from the [Channel] tunnel.

Economist 14 Feb. 1987, p. 19 daminozide (Environment) see Alar 4.2 ...


acronym Also written dat (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) Short for digital audio tape, a kind of audio tape on which sound is recorded digitally, equivalent in quality to a digital recording on CD. Also, a piece or cassette of digital audio tape. Etymology: An acronym, formed on the initial letters of Digital Audio Tape. History and Usage: Digital audio tape was developed experimentally at the beginning of the eighties and had started to be called DAT outside technical trade sources by 1985. It was widely used in recording studios as a convenient form of high-quality master tape. However, when commercial production was first talked about in the mid eighties there was near panic among some record producers (called DATphobia by one music paper), since DAT was expected to pose a considerable threat to the growing compact disc market, and to be much more difficult to protect from copying and piracy. After a lull in the late eighties, the word came back into the news in 1990 as companies talked of making DAT commercially available in 1991. Compact Discs have been marketed as the ultimate in sound. If DAT allows you to copy CDs...with absolutely no loss in that quality, where does this put the major record houses currently investing sharp-intake-of-breath sized sums on CD pressing plants? Q Oct. 1986, p. 18 The introduction of DAT has been bitterly fought here by record companies fearing unstoppable competition to

compact discs. Music & Musicians International Feb. 1988, p. 14 During a visit to Japan a year or so ago, I was convinced the year for consumer DAT is '91. I still believe that to be the case. Music Week 23 June 1990, p. 4 data capture (Science and Technology) see capture Data Discman (Science and Technology) see Walkman data massage (Business World) (Science and Technology) see massage data tablet (Science and Technology) see tablet dawn raid noun (Business World) In financial jargon, a swift buying operation carried out at the beginning of the day's trading, in which a substantially increased shareholding is obtained for a client, often as a preliminary to a take-over. Etymology: A figurative use of a compound which comes originally from military contexts but had become something of a journalistic clich‚ in reports of police operations during the twentieth century: the media often reported that a dawn raid had been carried out on a house occupied by suspected drug dealers or other criminals. History and Usage: A phenomenon which began at the very beginning of the eighties, the dawn raid offers a 'predator' company the chance to take an intended victim by surprise, and is therefore a popular preliminary to a take-over. The proportion of shares which may be bought up in this way by a dawn raider has been successively limited during the eighties so as to give a fairer chance to the target company.

Market lethargy has brought out the dawn raiders again, despite the recent stock exchange report on such practices. Economist 26 July 1980, p. 84 Its shares rose 14p to 235p, 5p below the new terms, as Blue Circle picked up a 29.5 per cent stake in a dawn raid on the stock market. Guardian 3 Aug. 1989, p. 11 4.3 ddI...


abbreviation Also written DDI (Health and Fitness) Short for dideoxyinosine, a drug which has been tested for use in the treatment of Aids. Etymology: The initial letters of Di-, Deoxy-, and Inosine. History and Usage: The compound dideoxyinosine was first synthesized in the mid seventies in connection with cancer research; in the late eighties it was suggested that it should be tried as an alternative to AZT (Zidovudine) in treating people with Aids. It was successfully tested in clinical trials in the US in 1989 and trials in the UK followed in 1990. Like AZT, ddI prevents the Aids virus HIV from replicating itself within the body. Almost 20 times as many people have flocked to free distributions of the new drug DDI than have signed up for the clinical trial. New York Times 21 Nov. 1989, section A, p. 1 The UK trial of ddI will be accompanied by a similar trial in France. Lancet 10 Mar. 1990, p. 596

DDI may offer an alternative treatment to the many people with AIDS who cannot tolerate zidovudine. New Scientist 26 May 1990, p. 32 4.4 deafened...

deafened adjective (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) Of a person: having lost the faculty of hearing (although not deaf from birth) to such an extent as to have to rely on visual aids such as lip-reading in order to understand speech. The corresponding noun for the state of being deafened is deafenedness. Etymology: A specialized use of the adjective, which has existed since the seventeenth century in the more general sense 'deprived of hearing', but has usually referred to temporary deafening (as, for example, by a loud noise). History and Usage: The distinction between the deaf (who have never been able to hear) and the deafened (who lose their hearing after having acquired normal language skills) has been made in medical literature for some time, often with an adverb making the situation absolutely clear, as pre-lingually deaf and post-lingually deafened. In popular usage, though, deaf has tended to serve both functions, as well as being used frequently to mean 'hard of hearing' (for which the official term is now hearing-impaired). The term deafened was brought into wider usage--partly as an attempt to alert the public to this important distinction and make them aware of the special problems of the deafened--by the formation of the National Association for Deafened People in 1984. Deafened people share many problems with those born deaf, but there is a gulf between us in terms of lifestyle. Good Housekeeping Sept. 1986, p. 45 Lip-reading...confounds crucial distinctions between the hard of hearing, the profoundly deafened and the

pre-lingually profoundly deaf. The hard of hearing and the deafened have...been...supporters of oralism; and the born deaf have retaliated by speaking as if they alone were the true deaf. Independent 16 May 1989, p. 15 death metal (Music) (Youth Culture) see thrash debit card (Business World) see card° debrezhnevization (Politics) see decommunize debt counselling noun Written debt counseling in the US (Business World) (People and Society) Professional advice and support provided for those who have fallen into debt and are unable to meet their financial commitments. The work of a debt counsellor. Etymology: Formed by compounding: counselling about debt. History and Usage: The term was first used in technical sources as long ago as the late sixties, but did not become at all common in general usage until the late seventies in the US and the eighties in the UK. The successive problems of the credit boom (leading to credit-card debt) and high interest rates (causing people to default on mortgage payments) have made it increasingly common since then. As debt counselors all over the state can attest: The woods around here are full of people who can't handle a single credit card without getting into deep, deep trouble. Los Angeles Times 30 Jan. 1986, section 5, p. 14 For homeowners forced into debt by rising interest rates, the Portsmouth Building Society has set up a free

debt counselling phoneline...manned by staff trained in debt counselling. Daily Telegraph 10 Feb. 1990, p. 34 decommunize transitive verb (Politics) To remove the communist basis from (a country, its institutions or economy), especially in Eastern Europe; loosely, to democratize. Also as a noun decommunization, the process of dismantling communism; adjective decommunized. Etymology: Formed by adding the prefix de- (in its commonest sense of removal or reversal) and the verbal suffix -ize to the root commun-. History and Usage: The word has been in use since the early eighties, when the first signs emerged of a willingness in communist countries to allow a small amount of private enterprise in some areas of their economies. Its use became more frequent in the late eighties--first in relation to Poland and Hungary and later to all former Warsaw Pact countries, as the whole edifice of Marxism in Eastern Europe began to be replaced by varying degrees of democracy and capitalism. The verb is sometimes used intransitively, in the sense 'to become decommunized'. The noun decommunization covers all the processes, both economic and political, which contribute to the dismantling of communism, whereas democratization and its Russian equivalent demokratizatsiya really refer only to the political process. Debrezhnevization was used for a short time to describe the personal discrediting of Leonid Brezhnev and his style of government, a process which took place during the mid eighties, shortly after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union. The momentum of decommunization is likely to carry most of the successor states of the Soviet Union quite far to the right. The Times 24 Feb. 1990, p. 10 'We cannot decommunize a whole society overnight,' says

Friedrich Magirius, superintendent of Leipzig's Protestant churches, who notes that East Germany was 'a typical dictatorship'. Time 9 July 1990, p. 75 deepening (Politics) see widening deep green (Environment) see green deep house (Music) (Youth Culture) see garage and house def

adjective (Youth Culture) In young people's slang (originally in the US): excellent, great, 'cool'. Often used in the phrase def jam, brilliant music. Etymology: Usually explained as a clipped form of definite or definitive (in its slang sense 'the last word in...'); compare rad and brill (see brilliant). However, it seems more likely to be connected with the use of def (derived from death) as a general intensifying adjective in West Indian English. This is borne out by a number of early uses of def in rap lyrics, where death can be substituted more readily than definite or definitive (words which would not anyway be appropriate in this context). History and Usage: Def belongs originally to hip hop, where it started to be used by rappers in about the mid eighties; the US record label Def Jam dates from about that time. The word soon became extremely fashionable among both Black and White youngsters in the US and the UK. A series of programmes for a teenage audience on BBC2 from 9 May 1988 onwards was given the general heading 'DEF II'. For further emphasis, the suffix - o may be added, giving deffo. Further def vinyl to look out for includes deejay Scott La Rock's album. Blues & Soul 3-16 Feb. 1987, p. 30

Shot in super-slick black and white, with a half-hour colour 'behind the scenes' documentary, this is actually quite a funky lil' package. And a deffo must for all Jan fans. P.S. Dec. 1989, p. 27 deforestation (Environment) see desertification dehire

(People and Society) see deselect

deleverage (Business World) see leverage democratization, demokratizatsiya (Politics) see decommunize deniability noun (Politics) Ability to deny something; especially, in the context of US politics, the extent to which a person in high office is able to deny knowledge of something which is relevant to a political scandal. Etymology: Formed by adding the noun suffix -ability to deny, giving a noun counterpart for the adjective deniable. History and Usage: Deniability is one of those potential words which the building blocks of affixation would make it possible to form at any time, and in fact it was first used in its more general sense at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The special political sense, though, dates from the political scandals of the late twentieth century in the US--first the Watergate scandal of 1972-4, and later the Iran-contra affair of 1986 (see contra). This special sense seems to have originated in CIA jargon, where it was sometimes used in the phrase plausible deniability. It was popularized at the time of the Watergate scandal by an article by Shana Alexander in Newsweek in 1973, entitled 'The Need (Not) To Know'; and indeed the whole point of this concept is the perceived need to protect the

President (or another high official) from knowledge of some shady activity, so that he will be able to tell any ensuing inquiry that he knew nothing about it. The concept of 'plausible deniability' was devised by the late CIA director, Mr William Casey, by having Israeli arms brokers as middlemen. Daily Telegraph 11 July 1987, p. 6 I made a very definite decision not to ask the President so that I could insulate him from the decision and provide some future deniability...The buck stops here with me. John Poindexter quoted in Time 27 July 1987, p. 24 The government is rendering itself less competent, preparing a more thoroughgoing deniability. Marilynne Robinson Mother Country (1989), p. 182 Denver boot, shoe (Lifestyle and Leisure) see wheel clamp desaparecido noun (Politics) (People and Society) Any of the many people who disappeared in Argentina during the period of military rule there between 1976 and 1983; by extension, anyone who has disappeared in South or Central America under a totalitarian regime. Etymology: A direct borrowing from Spanish desaparecido 'disappeared', the past participle of the verb desaparecer 'to disappear'. History and Usage: The plight of the desaparecidos, also called in English the disappeared or disappeared ones, was much discussed in the newspapers in the US and the UK from about the late seventies. Many were never seen again after being arrested by the army or police, and can only be presumed killed in detention; many others were children who were taken away from

their arrested parents and placed with other families without any consent. Since the end of the military regime, the desaparecidos have remained in the news from time to time, and some of those formerly in detention have reappeared. The effort continues to trace as many of the displaced children as possible and return them to their real families. Recently the word has been extended in use to anyone who has suffered a similar fate in Spanish America. People whose children or husbands or wives were desaparecidos--'disappeared ones'--would go to Cardinal Arns, and the Cardinal would stop whatever he was doing and drive to the prisons, the police, the Second Army headquarters. New Yorker 2 Mar. 1987, p. 62 The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo are assembling a genetic databank on grandparents whose grandchildren are still missing, and on children who suspect that they are desaparecidos but whose grandparents have yet to be identified. Nature 18 June 1987, p. 553 deselect verb (Politics) Of a local constituency party in the UK: to reject (an established candidate, especially a sitting Member of Parliament) as its constituency candidate for an election. Etymology: Formed by adding the prefix de- (indicating reversal) to the verb select. This kind of formation with de- is characteristic of euphemistic verbs like deselect--compare dehire for 'sack' in the US (where deselect has also been used as a euphemism for 'dismiss'). History and Usage: The verb has been used in this sense in British politics since the very end of the seventies, when the Labour Party's reselection procedure made deselection a real danger for a number of Labour MPs. The practice was particularly common during the middle years of the eighties, and the word came to be used in other contexts (such as local government) at

that time. Mr Woodall, MP for 12 years..., launched a bitter attack on his opponents in the NUM and local party who, he said, had 'connived' to deselect him. Daily Telegraph 24 Feb. 1986, p. 24 Echoes of a more turbulent past also emerged from the NEC's monthly meeting in the long-running dispute over Frank Field's deselection as Birkenhead's sitting MP. Guardian 28 June 1990, p. 20 desertification noun (Environment) The changing of fertile land into desert or arid waste, especially as a long-term result of human activity. Also sometimes known as desertization. Etymology: Formed by adding the process suffix -ification to desert. History and Usage: The process of desertification was recognized as a world environmental problem as long ago as the mid seventies, but it was not until the late eighties that the word became widely known as a result of the green movement and increased awareness of environmental issues generally. The problem is exacerbated by destruction of forests (deforestation), erosion of the topsoil, and global warming (which involves formerly fertile areas in drought). As the process takes place, the affected land is first termed arid, then desertified. Some 6.9 million sq. km. of Africa...were under direct threat of desertification in 1985, according to UN estimates. The Annual Register 1985 (1986), p. 395 The very processes of extracting Third World resources result in environmental disasters--deforestation,

massive soil-erosion and desertification. New Internationalist May 1987, p. 13 designer adjective (Lifestyle and Leisure) Originally, of clothes and other fashion items: bearing the name or label of a famous designer, and therefore (by implication) expensive or prestigious. Later extended to describe anything fashionable among yuppies and the smart set generally; also applied to anything that can be designed individually for or by a particular user. Etymology: An attributive use of the noun designer which has become so common in recent years that it is now regarded by many as an adjective. History and Usage: This use of designer began with the designer scarf (also known as a signature scarf) back in the mid sixties, but did not really take off in the language until the late seventies. Then denim jeans were elevated from simple workaday clothing to high fashion by the addition of the designer label on the pocket, which made them designer jeans and therefore comparatively expensive. The trend spread to other areas of fashion (notably designer knitwear) in the early eighties; by the middle of the decade the word had become one of the advertising industry's favourites, and anything associated with the smart and wealthy class targeted by these advertisers could have the designer tag applied to it ironically (for example, overpriced sparkling mineral water served by trendy wine bars came to be called designer water). A distinct branch of meaning started to develop in the second half of the eighties, perhaps under the influence of the same advertisers and fashion writers. Whereas before this, designer items had to be created by a designer (or at least bear the name of a designer: the name was often licensed out on goods which the designer had never seen), the emphasis was now on designing for the individual customer, and in some cases the consumers were even encouraged to do the designing themselves. This was the era of such things as designer stubble (a carefully nurtured unshaven look) and designer food (inspired by the chef-artists of nouvelle cuisine). The concept has been used outside the world of 'lifestyle' and fashion as well, for example in popular

descriptions of genetic engineering. Small wonder Perrier is called Designer Water. My local wine bar has the cheek to charge 70p a glass. The Times 4 Sept. 1984, p. 12 I mean Ah' into ma designer tracksuit just to be casual like. Liz Lochhead True Confessions (1985), p. 72 Designer stubble of the George Michael ilk has also run its bristly course. Hockney thinks that the only people who can get away with it are dark, continental men whose whiskers push through evenly. Guardian 7 Aug. 1989, p. 17 Altering the shape of plants is another possibility--what Professor Stewart calls designer plants...In some cases they could be made to grow a canopy across the bare earth to keep in gases like carbon dioxide. Guardian 5 Mar. 1990, p. 6 'Designer' pianos in coloured finishes, veneers and marquetries now form about 5 per cent of the market. Ideal Home Apr. 1990, p. 84 See also designer drug designer drug noun (Drugs) A drug deliberately synthesized to get round anti-drug regulations, using a structure which is not yet illegal but which mimics the chemistry and effects of an existing, banned drug; hence any recreational drug with an altered structure. Etymology: For etymology, see designer. The ultimate in

made-to-measure kicks, the designer drug was also designed to keep one step ahead of anti-drugs laws. History and Usage: Designer drugs were being made privately as early as 1976; the first designer 'look-alikes' of heroin appeared on the streets in the late seventies under the names China White and new heroin. The term itself was coined several years later when Professor Henderson of the University of California at Davis investigated the large number of deaths and Parkinsonian symptoms among users of China White in California. Despite attempts to limit them by legislation, designer drugs mimicking prohibited amphetamines enjoyed an explosion in the late eighties, as drug users looked for ways of avoiding heroin use with its associated Aids risk. With the new legislation came a development in the sense of the term: any recreational drug which deliberately altered the structure of an existing drug could be called a designer drug, as could a drug used by a sports competitor hoping to avoid falling foul of random tests. The legality of the designer drugs is only one of the many powerful economic incentives working to make them the future drugs of abuse. Science Mar. 1985, p. 62 Some of these people obviously also use cocaine, marijuana and some exotic designer drugs. New York Times 23 Sept. 1989, p. 23 desk organizer (Lifestyle and Leisure) see organizer desk-top noun and adjective Also written desktop (Science and Technology) noun: A personal computer which fits on the top surface of a desk (short for desk-top computer). Also, a representation of a desk-top on a VDU screen. adjective: Using a desk-top computer system to produce printed documents to a publishable standard of typesetting, layout, etc.; especially in the phrase desk-top publishing (abbreviation DTP).

Etymology: A specialized use of the transparent compound desk-top. History and Usage: The desk-top computer goes back to the seventies, but only started to be called a desk-top for short in the mid eighties. At about the same time, computer manufacturers whose systems made use of icons and other features of WIMPS (see WIMPý) started to use desk-top widely as a way of referring to the representation of the top of a working desk that appeared on the screen. Desk-top publishing depends on software packages that were only first marketed in the mid eighties. Essentially it makes available to the computer user a page make-up and design facility which makes it possible to create any arrangement on the 'page' of text and graphics output from other packages such as word processing and spreadsheets, using a wide variety of different type-styles and sizes. The design can then be printed using a laser printer. These systems proved very popular for the production of documents on a small scale, bypassing the cost of commercial typesetting and design. By 1990 the dividing line between desk-top and conventional typesetting systems had blurred; this book, for example, was typeset using DTP software, but output on a high-quality image setter. Given today's low cost desktop publishing systems, almost anyone could set up as a newsletter publisher, working from home. Guardian 10 Aug. 1989, p. 29 There's nothing remotely hostile about a desktop with icons for both Unix and DOS applications. PC User 11 Oct. 1989, p. 203 It was in fact set on a personal computer DTP system (feel the quality, never mind the width!). Creative Review Mar. 1990, p. 47 des res noun Also written des. res. (Lifestyle and Leisure) Colloquially in the UK (originally among estate agents), a

desirable residence; an expensive house, usually in a 'sought-after' neighbourhood. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating desirable and residence to their first three letters. History and Usage: Des res belongs originally to the highly abbreviated and euphemistic language of estate agents' newspaper advertisements, where the clich‚ has been in use for some years. During the mid eighties, though, it moved into a more general colloquial idiom, often used rather ironically. Des res is sometimes used as an adjective--again, often ironically. The days of the 'des res' that clearly isn't are set to end for estate agents. The Times 20 Apr. 1990, p. 2 WDS make many practical suggestions as to how women's toilets could be improved; if all were adopted, they'd become highly des res. Guardian 11 July 1990, p. 17 For those for whom the genuine article is not beyond reach, the Georgian country house (right) is one typical English version of the des res. Independent 22 Dec. 1990, p. 33 device

noun (War and Weaponry)

Euphemistically, a bomb. Etymology: Formed by shortening the earlier euphemism explosive device. History and Usage: The word was used as long ago as the late fifties in nuclear device, a euphemism for atom bomb, but this term was rarely shortened to device alone. In the age of international terrorism, the euphemism was taken up in police jargon, at first often in the longer form explosive device or incendiary device, and widely used in press releases describing

terrorist attacks in which explosives were used. During the course of the eighties device seems to have become an established synonym for bomb in news reports. After sprinkling them with an unidentified liquid, an explosive charge was put on top of the human pile. The device detonated as planned. Washington Post 3 Jan. 1981, section A, p. 1 February 24: A device pushed through a letter box wrecked an army careers office in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Guardian 11 June 1990, p. 2 4.5 diddy goth...

diddy goth (Youth Culture) see goth dideoxyinosine (Health and Fitness) see ddI dietary fibre (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see fibre differently abled (People and Society) see abled digital adjective (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) (Of a recording) made by digitizing, or turning information about sound into a code of numerical values or digits, and storing this. Etymology: A straightforward development of the adjective digital in the computing sense 'operating on data in the form of digits'; first the method of recording was described as digital, and then the adjective was also applied to a recording or piece of music reproduced in this way.

History and Usage: The technology for digital recording was developed as early as the sixties, but it was not until the late seventies that the first digital discs became commercially available. The sound information that is stored includes millions of coded pulses per second; until the advent of the CD there was no suitable medium for this mass of information. This method of recording is considerably more faithful to the original sound than analogue recording (the audio method previously used) and the recording does not deteriorate so quickly; as a result, digital recording has more or less taken over the classical market (where fidelity of sound is especially important) and is also widely used for popular music. The process of translating a signal into coded pulses is called digitization (or digitalization); older analogue recordings are often re-recorded using the digital technique and are then described as digitally remastered. The performances could hardly be more authentic, with magnificent playing and an ample resonance in this fine digital recording. Sunday Times 14 Oct. 1984, p. 40 In their day (1957-59) these recordings stood as superior examples of the conducting and engineering art. They sound even more impressive today in RCA's digitally remastered version. Chicago Tribune 22 Apr. 1990, section 13, p. 22 digital audio tape (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) see DAT digital video interactive (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) see CD DINK

acronym Also written Dink, dink, Dinkie, Dinky, etc. (People and Society) Colloquially, either partner of a career couple with no children, both of whom have an income from work and who are therefore viewed as affluent consumers with few drains on their resources.

Etymology: Formed on the initial letters of Double (or Dual ) Income No Kids; in the variant forms Dinkie or Dinky, the diminutive suffix -ie, -y is added in imitation of yuppie, although Dinky is sometimes explained as Double Income No Kids Yet. History and Usage: DINK is one of a line of humorous terms (often acronyms) for social groupings that followed in the wake of the successful yuppie in the mid eighties. It owes its existence to the trend analysts and marketing executives of the US and Canada, who in 1986 identified and targeted this group as an increasingly important section of the American market. Typically, the partners in a DINK couple are educated to a high level and each is committed to a high-paid career; the social trend underlying the coinage is that women with high educational qualifications tend to have fewer children, and to have them later in their careers than was previously the case. For two or three years, DINK appeared to be almost as successful a coinage as yuppie (despite its confusability with the US slang word dink 'penis', also used as a personal term of abuse); derivatives included dinkdom and the adjective undink (not characteristic of a DINK). Less successful variants on the theme, such as OINK (One Income No Kids), Nilkie (No Income Lots of Kids), and Tinkie (Two Incomes, Nanny and Kids) came and went during 1987. A later attempt was SITCOM (Single Income, Two (K)ids, Outrageous Mortgage), which appeared in 1989, but this also failed to make much impression. These speedy high-rollers are upper-crust DINKs...They flourish in the pricier suburbs as well as in gentrified urban neighborhoods. Time 20 Apr. 1987, p. 45 The wolf is looming through the smoked-glass door even for many hard-working Dinkie...couples. The Times 2 May 1990, p. 10 direct broadcasting by satellite (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) see satellite

dirty dancing (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) see lambada dis

(Youth Culture) see diss

disablist adjective Also written disable-ist or disableist (People and Society) Showing discrimination or prejudice against disabled people; characterized by ableism. Etymology: Formed by adding the adjectival suffix -ist to the root form of disabled, after the model of ageist (see ageism), racist, and sexist. History and Usage: The word was coined in the mid eighties as the adjectival counterpart for ableism. At first it was sometimes written disableist or even disable-ist, but disablist now seems to be becoming established as the usual form. Disablism, which represents the opposite side of the coin from ableism (discrimination against the disabled rather than in favour of the able-bodied) very rarely occurs as a term. I am not apologising for SM and believe that in itself it is neither racist, classist, disablist nor anti-semitic. Spare Rib May 1986, p. 6 Labour has promised to infuse racist, sexist, 'disablist', and 'ageist' criteria into higher education, like those that are making an academic mockery of some American institutions. Daily Telegraph 8 Nov. 1989, p. 20 See also abled disappeared (ones) (Politics) (People and Society) see desaparecido Discman

(Lifestyle and Leisure) see Walkman


noun Also written distco (Business World) A power-distribution company; any of the twelve regional companies set up in 1989 to distribute electricity in England and Wales. Etymology: Formed by combining the first syllable of distribution with co, a long-established abbreviation of company which had already been used as a suffix in company and brand names (for example, Woolco for a Woolworths brand). History and Usage: Disco was used in company names in the US before becoming topical in the UK because of the government's reorganization of the electricity supply in the late eighties and their plans to sell off the discos as part of their privatization strategy. Distco seems to be the officially preferred form, although disco is commoner in the newspapers (despite confusability with the musical disco). The sale of the distribution companies took place in 1990. It is argued that smaller distcos, such as Manweb and South Wales, will have lower growth prospects to push down costs. Observer 18 Mar. 1990, p. 57 The discos have much better growth prospects than the water companies, while the gencos generate a unique 'fuel'. Daily Telegraph 25 July 1990, p. 23 Lloyds pitched for the business of arranging the loans...for three discos, with two of whom it already enjoyed a relationship as a clearing bank. Daily Telegraph 17 Aug. 1990, p. 17 See also genco

disco-funk (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) see funk

dish diss

(Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) see satellite verb Also written dis (Youth Culture) In young people's slang (originally in the US): to put (someone) down, usually verbally; to show disrespect for a person by insulting language or dismissive behaviour. Also as an action noun dissing. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating disrespect to its first syllable. History and Usage: Diss originated in US Black English and has been popularized through the spread of hip hop. In Black culture, insults form an important part of the peer-group behaviour known as sounding or playing the dozens, in which the verbal repartee consists of a rising crescendo of taunts and abuse. The concept of dissing moved outside Black culture through its use in rap, and is now widely known among Whites both in America and in the UK; even children interviewed in an Inner London school playground in 1990 practised this trading of insults, referring to them as cusses. The victim, according to detectives, made the mistake of irritating Nuke at a party. 'He dissed him' Sergeant Croissant said. New York Times 15 Nov. 1987, section VI, p. 52 The gladiatorial rapping, the sportswear, the symbolic confrontations ('dissing') are all about self-assertion. Weekend Guardian 11 Nov. 1989, p. 20 While taking a dispute to someone's home is the ultimate in 'dissing'...there are other insults that can be just as deadly...'You dis, you die,' some youths say. Boston Globe 2 May 1990, p. 12


(Business World) see disco

4.6 doc, docu-...

doc, docucombining forms (Lifestyle and Leisure) Parts of the word documentary, used in docudrama (also called dramadoc or drama-doc) and docutainment to show that a film or entertainment contains an element of documentary (or at least that real events have formed the basis for it). Etymology: Doc, which also exists as a free-standing colloquial abbreviation of documentary, is used as the second part of an abbreviated compound; when the documentary element comes first, the -u- is kept as a link vowel. History and Usage: The dramatized documentary (dramadoc, docudrama) suddenly became a fashionable form of television entertainment at the end of the seventies in the US, and this was a fashion which lasted through the eighties both in the US and in the UK. The proportions of fact and dramatic licence in these programmes is variable, whereas the docutainment (a word which dates from the late seventies and appears to be a Canadian coinage) is more likely to be factual, but designed both to inform and entertain: compare infotainment (at info-). This two-part production about the life and times of Douglas MacArthur is no docudrama. It is instead a documentary or, more precisely, five hours of 'docutainment', a fascinating...biography based on William Manchester's book about America's most intriguing, epic soldier. Los Angeles Times 3 Mar. 1985, p. 3 While the film is not a 'docu-drama', immense pains have been taken to achieve authenticity. Daily Telegraph 8 Mar. 1990, p. 18 See also faction donutting (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Politics) see doughnutting

doom and gloom (Business World) (Politics) see gloom and doom doorstep verb (Politics) intransitive: Of a politician: to canvass support by going from door to door, talking to voters on their doorsteps; also as an action noun doorstepping and agent noun doorstepper. transitive: Of a journalist, campaigner, etc.: to 'stake out' the doorstep of (a person in the news, someone in a position of authority or power in a particular area, etc.) in the hope of getting a statement or story from them. Etymology: Formed by treating the noun doorstep as though it were a verb. This shift originally took place at about the beginning of this century, when door-to-door salesmen carried out their trade by doorstepping. History and Usage: The intransitive, political sense goes back at least to the sixties, when door-to-door canvassing took over from public debate as the most important means of winning voters to one's cause--but doorstepping and doorstepper are later developments. The media use of the verb belongs to the eighties, when investigative journalism and straightforward intrusions of privacy on the part of journalists came in for some considerable criticism. The staying power of some journalists and press photographers became so widely publicized that the transitive verb started to develop a transferred sense: a person who was determined to get a decision or change of policy on a particular issue would talk of doorstepping the person responsible in order to achieve this (in much the same way as one might speak of lobbying one's MP). The journalists are often the last ones to see him before he goes to bed or the first to see him when he gets up in the morning, spending late nights at his house after his day is over and doorstepping him next morning. The Times 13 Jan. 1988, p. 30 Some say it is time for a new approach, with bands of

scientific inspectors doorstepping laboratories around the world. New Scientist 4 Aug. 1988, p. 31 Hard News...will doorstep editors and reporters, if necessary, to get a reply. Independent 5 Apr. 1989, p. 17 double zero option (Politics) see zero doughnutting noun Also written donutting (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Politics) In television jargon, the clustering of politicians round a speaker during a televised parliamentary debate so as to fill the shot and make the speaker appear well supported. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ing to doughnut--presumably alluding to the ring shape of some doughnuts as resembling the ring of supporters, or to the jam in the middle as representing the speaker, surrounded by the apparently substantial dough of his support. History and Usage: The word is often said to have been used in connection with the first televised debates from the federal parliament in Ottawa, but Canadian newspaper reports of the time do not bear this out (describing the practice, but not using the word). When the British parliament began to be televised, and particularly when House of Commons debates first appeared on TV screens in 1989, the word enjoyed a brief vogue in the press amid speculation that members would attempt to fill the seats immediately behind the speaker so as to make the chamber appear full, even when in fact a debate had attracted only a handful of MPs. Its use in popular sources promises to be shortlived. Mr Kirkwood did have a little ring of fellow-Liberals around him. But this practice of 'doughnutting', as Canadian parliamentarians call it, exhausts the nutters more than it fools the viewers.

Daily Telegraph 24 Nov. 1989, p. 14 dozens

(Youth Culture) see diss

4.7 dramadoc...

dramadoc (Lifestyle and Leisure) see doc, docudrive-by noun Plural drive-bys (People and Society) In the US, a criminal act (usually a shooting) carried out from a moving vehicle. Also known more fully as a drive-by shooting. Etymology: Formed by dropping the word shooting from drive-by shooting and treating what remains as a noun. History and Usage: The drive-by represents a reappearance in American crime of the gang-led murder carried out from a moving car, something which many would associate with the twenties rather than the eighties. In its new manifestation in the late eighties and early nineties it is particularly associated with rival teenage gangs, but the gun is often shot randomly into a crowd, endangering innocent passers-by as well as the gang targets. The task force suggested increased penalties for drive-by shootings and other gang-related homicides, and for the possession and sale of controlled substances, including phencyclidine. New Yorker 3 Nov. 1986, p. 128 In Chicago, 'drive-bys' contributed to a 22 per cent leap in the youth murder rate last year. The Times 7 Feb. 1990, p. 10 drug abuse (Drugs) (People and Society) see abuse 4.8 DTP


(Science and Technology) see desk-top

4.9 dude...


(Youth Culture) In urban street slang (originally in the US): a person, a guy, one of the 'gang'. Often used as a form of address: friend, buddy. Etymology: Dude is a slang word of unknown origin that was first used in the US in the 1880s to mean 'a dandy, a swell' or (as a Western cowboys' word) 'a city-dweller'. By the early 1970s it had been taken up in US Black English to mean 'a man, a cool guy or cat' (and later 'any person'), losing its original negative connotations. History and Usage: This more general use of dude was popularized outside Black street slang through the blaxploitation films of the late seventies and, more particularly, through the explosion of hip hop during the eighties. Its spread into British English idiom, at least among children, was finally ensured by repeated use among the Teenage Mutant Turtles and other US cartoon characters in comic strips, cartoons, and games. Dudes like that, they're totally dialled in. They can earn a quarter of a million a year, serious coin. Richard Rayner Los Angeles Without a Map (1988), p. 68 It is the teenage Bart who has caught the public's imagination. With his skateboard and, touchingly, his catapult, he is a match for anyone, not least because of his streetwise vocabulary. 'Yo, dude!' he says; 'Aye caramba!' and--most famously--'Eat my shorts!' Independent 29 July 1990, p. 17

dumping noun (Environment)

The practice of disposing of radioactive or toxic waste by burying it in the ground, dropping or piping it into the oceans, or depositing it above ground in another country. Etymology: A specialized use of the verbal noun dumping, which literally means 'throwing down in a heap'. History and Usage: It was only in the late seventies that environmentalists began to expose the scale of dumping by all the industrialized nations over the previous decade and the environmental disasters that this could cause. Hazardous waste had been buried in landfill sites on which houses were later built, sent off to Third World countries desperate for revenue, and pumped into rivers and oceans. Dumping became a topical issue in the UK in the eighties first because of public resistance to plans to bury radioactive waste in British landfill sites and later when the UK fell foul of European Community directives on clean beaches because of the large quantities of raw sewage being pumped out to sea from British shores. Dumping increases the input of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus into the marine environment. Steve Elsworth A Dictionary of the Environment (1990), p. 243 Waste trichloroethene probably gets into the tap water because of careless dumping. Which? Aug. 1990, p. 433 Dutch house (Music) (Youth Culture) see house Dutching noun Also written dutching (Environment) (Lifestyle and Leisure) In the jargon of the British food industry, the practice of sending substandard food intended for the UK market for irradiation in the Netherlands (or some other European country where irradiation is permitted) so as to mask any bacterial contamination before putting it on sale in British shops.

Etymology: Formed by making a 'verbal' noun from the adjective Dutch (since the irradiation is normally carried out in the Netherlands) and the suffix -ing; a similarly euphemistic expression for the same process is 'sending on a holiday to Holland'. History and Usage: The practice of Dutching was exposed in a Thames television documentary in 1985, but it was not at that time given this name. Both the word and the practice became topical in 1989 during discussions of the proposed legalization of food irradiation. At a time when there was widespread public concern over food-related illnesses, many people were shocked to discover that bad food was already being passed off as good in this way. A dealer...talked about 'Dutching' to a Sunday Times reporter posing as a potential buyer. Asked if the prawns would pass health tests at a British port...: 'Well, they won't if they come into England directly. But if they went into Holland and Belgium, yes.' Sunday Times 6 Aug. 1989, section 1, p. 3 See also irradiation 4.10 DVI


(Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) see CD

4.11 dweeb


noun (Youth Culture)

In North American slang: a contemptible or boring person, especially one who is studious, puny, or unfashionable; a 'nerd'. Etymology: Of unknown origin; probably an invented word influenced by dwarf, weed, creep, etc. History and Usage: The term has been in use since the early

eighties, and may have originated in US prep school slang. The corresponding adjective is dweeby. Norman, a research dweeb with a rockabilly hairdo. Kitchener-Waterloo Record (Ontario) 9 Nov. 1989, section C, p. 22 Nathan Hendrick, 9, is wonderfully nerdy as Leonard Digbee, a dweeb's dweeb whose only goal in life is to one-up Harriet. Los Angeles Times 19 July 1990, p. 6 'These Val guys are totally gross. They think they're real, but you can tell they're Barneys.' She says 'dweeby types' often 'snog right up' to her when she's wearing her 'floss', or thong-back bikini. Wall Street Journal 27 Sept. 1990, section A, p. 1 4.12 dynamize

dynamize transitive verb (Business World) To increase the value of (a pension) by taking inflation into account in the calculations of final salary on which the pension is based; to calculate (final salary) by adding the value of inflation in successive years to a real salary some years before retirement. Such a pension or salary is dynamized; the calculation involved is dynamization. Etymology: The verb to dynamize has been in use in financial contexts with the more general meaning 'make more dynamic or effective' since the seventies. The use in relation to pensions is a specialization of this. History and Usage: The dynamized pension is an approved way of avoiding the Inland Revenue's maximum allowable pension rule (that a pension may not be worth more than two-thirds of final salary) and dates from the late seventies.

Norwich Union...cannot dynamise the pension without the trustees' approval. Daily Telegraph 14 Oct. 1989, p. 31 5.0 E

5.1 E°...

(Environment) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see E number

(Drugs) see Ecstasy

(Science and Technology) see electronic

5.2 earcon...


(Science and Technology) see icon

Earth-friendly (Environment) see -friendly 5.3 eco...


adjective (Environment) see eco- below


combining form (Environment) Part of the words ecology and ecological, widely used as the first element of compounds and blends which relate in some way (sometimes quite tenuously) to ecology, the environment (see environment°), or green issues. Hence as a free-standing adjective: ecological, environment-friendly. Etymology: The first two syllables of ecology and ecological; in both words this part is ultimately derived from Greek oikos 'house' (ecology being, properly speaking, the study of the 'household' or community of organisms).

History and Usage: One of the most fashionable combining forms of the late eighties, eco- had already enjoyed a vogue in the late sixties and early seventies, especially in US English. As a formative element of scientific terminology (for example in words like ecoclimate, ecosphere, ecospecies, ecosystem, and ecotype), it goes back to the twenties and thirties; scientists have also used it as a kind of shorthand for 'ecological and...' (for example in ecocultural, ecogenetic, ecogeographical, ecophysiological, etc.). The explosion of non-technical uses arises from the increasing influence of the green view of politics, and represents a shift in meaning which had also taken place in the use of the full forms ecology and ecological: ecoin these words can signify a range of different connections with 'the environment' or with environmental politics, but not usually (if ever) with the community of organisms studied by ecology proper. At the furthest extreme of this development are the words in which eco- is synonymous with environment-friendly (see -friendly) and often operates as a free-standing adjective (see the quotations below). Among the formations of the earlier vogue period were eco-activist, eco-catastrophe (or ecodisaster), and ecofreak (also called an eco-nut or eco-nutter). Many of these seventies formations betray a lack of sympathy with environmental action groups and others who were already campaigning against the destruction of the environment; the formations of the eighties and early nineties, on the other hand, tended to have much more positive connotations, as green politics became acceptable and even desirable. Some of the earlier forms were now telescoped into blends: eco-catastrophe, for example, became eco-tastrophe. Many ad hoc formations using eco- have appeared in only one or two contexts (especially when it is used as a type of adjective); a few of these are illustrated in the quotations below. Among the more lasting eco- words (some originally formed by the environmental campaigners of the seventies, others new to the eighties or early nineties) are: eco-aware(ness); ecobabble (see under -babble); ecocentric (and ecocentrism); ecoconsciousness; ecocrat; ecocrisis; ecodoom (and -doomster, -doomsterism); ecofeminism; eco-friendly; ecolabel(ling) (see also environmental); ecomania (sometimes called ecohysteria);

ecopolitics (also ecopolicy, ecopolitical); ecoraider; ecorefugee; ecosocialism (and ecosocialist); ecotage (also called ecoterrorism) and ecoteur (also an eco-guerrilla or ecoterrorist); ecotechnology (and ecotechnological); Ecotopian (as an adjective or noun, from Ecotopia, an ecologically ideal society or environmental Utopia); eco-tourism and eco-tourist. Whew, the day certainly had a funny colour to it--a harp light, but livid, bilious, as if some knot of eco-scuzz still lingered in its lungs. Martin Amis Money (1984), p. 43 Among the measures called for are...introduction of 'ecomark' labels for products that have little adverse effect on the environment. Nature 25 May 1989, p. 242 Tom Cruise will wear a shock of bright green hair in his next movie, fighting such evil characters as Sly an effort to wipe out those 'eco-villains who pollute the earth'. Sunday Mail Magazine (Brisbane) 11 Feb. 1990, p. 42 Four eco-warriors risk their lives as Greenpeace attempts to prevent a ship dumping waste in the North Sea. Sky Magazine Apr. 1990, p. 3 Oiling the wheels of eco progress. Times Educational Supplement 11 May 1990, section A, p. 12 What scientists call an 'eco-tastrophe' [on Mount St Helen's] has witnessed a remarkable recovery by nature. Guardian 18 May 1990, p. 12 Lex Silvester is no Crocodile Dundee, but dedicated to

eco-tourism, blending sightseeing with conservation. The Times 2 June 1990, p. 29 The 'Eco house', in its own acre garden, will demonstrate how we can live in a more environmental friendly way with highly efficient insulation, solar heating, energy efficient appliances and organic gardening. Natural World Spring/Summer 1990, p. 9 The Department of the Environment produced a useful discussion paper on eco-labelling back in August 1989, and after some lengthy consultation set up an Advisory Panel. She Aug. 1990, p. 122 An overwhelming groundswell of support transformed Greenpeace from a daring but ragtag band of eco-guerrillas into the largest environmental organization in the world in barely over a decade. New York Times Book Review 25 Nov. 1990, p. 14 As products with specious 'eco-friendly' claims multiply on store shelves, the need for substantiated product information has intensified. Garbage Nov.-Dec. 1990, p. 17 ecobabble (Environment) see -babble ecological adjective (Environment) Concerned with ecology or green issues; hence, environment-friendly, environmental. Etymology: For etymology, see eco- and ecology. History and Usage: Ecological has developed in very much the

same way as environmental during the past ten years, developing the sense 'concerned with environmental issues' in the seventies (see ecology below) and the more elliptical sense 'environment-friendly' in the early eighties. It seems it can already be economical (though surely not ecological) to fly cargo to London for onward trucking to Paris and points east, and vice versa. Guardian 19 June 1990, p. 15 ecology noun (Environment) Conservation of the environment (see environment°); green politics. Often used attributively, in Ecology Party etc., in much the same sense as the adjectives environmental and green. Etymology: A sense development of the noun ecology, which is formed on the Greek word oikos 'house', and originally referred only to the branch of biology which has to do with the 'household' or community of organisms and how they relate to their surroundings. Since it was the potential destruction of habitats (including the human one) that first focused political attention on green issues, ecology came to be used popularly to refer to the protection of the natural world from the effects of pollution. History and Usage: The transformation of ecology from scientific study to political cause was foreseen by the writer Aldous Huxley in his paper The Politics of Ecology (1963), in which he wrote: Ecology is the science of the mutual relations of organisms with their environment and with one another. Only when we get it into our collective head that the basic problem confronting twentieth-century man is an ecological problem will our politics become realistic...Do we propose to live on this planet in symbiotic harmony with our environment? The word ecology was popular throughout the seventies as the ecology movement gained momentum. In the eighties, though, ecology has tended to be replaced in its attributive use by

green--the Ecology Party in the UK officially changed its name to the Green Party in 1985, for example--and by the environment elsewhere. The strongest organised hesitation before socialism is perhaps the diverse movement variously identified as 'ecology' or 'the greens'. New Socialist Sept. 1986, p. 36 The Polish Ecology Club was the second independent organisation to be established after Solidarity, and has several thousand members. EuroBusiness June 1990, p. 14 economic and monetary union (Politics) see EMU° Ecstasy noun Also written ecstasy or XTC (Drugs) In the slang of drug users, the hallucinogenic designer drug methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA, also known as Adam. Sometimes abbreviated to E (and used as a verb, in the sense 'to freak out on Ecstasy'). Etymology: The name refers to the extreme feelings of euphoria and general well-being which the drug induces in its users. The word ecstasy has been used in the sense of 'rapturous delight' since the sixteenth century; 'street chemists' in the eighties have simply applied it in a more specialized and concrete sense. History and Usage: It has been claimed that the drug was first made in the early years of this century as an appetite suppressant and patented in 1914 by the pharmaceutical company Merck; according to the chemical literature it was first synthesized in 1960 and did not become known as MDMA until the seventies. It was not until 1984, though, that it was made as a designer drug; by 1985 it had appeared on the streets in the US and was being called Ecstasy or Adam. It soon acquired a reputation as a drug of the smart, wealthy set; it was Ecstasy that the media most associated with the introduction of acid house culture to the UK in 1988, claiming that the drug, in the

form of small tablets, could easily be sold at crowded acid house parties, and lent itself to being 'pumped' down with fizzy drinks and the energetic style of dancing practised there. Despite claims by psychotherapists that it had a legitimate therapeutic use in releasing the inhibitions of some psychiatric patients, research showed that prolonged use could do irreversible damage to nerve cells in the brain, and it was banned in both the US and the UK. It remains one of the most popular illicit drugs of the eighties and early nineties; its users are sometimes known as Ecstatics. If cocaine and angel dust were the drugs of the 70s, Ecstasy may be the escape of the 80s. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 31 May 1985, p. 4 It is 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA, ADAM, Decadence, Essence, XTC, Ecstasy. Ecstasy! Paradise induced. And as of July, by emergency order of the Drug Enforcement Administration, illegal. Washington Post 1 June 1985, section D, p. 1 Police fear Acid House parties...provide an ideal opportunity for professional criminals to sell drugs, particularly the 'designer' drug Ecstasy favoured in the Acid house culture. Independent 7 Nov. 1988, p. 2 The really great thing was three years ago, the Ecstasy explosion, when everybody started E'ing all over the place, there was all these different sorts of music getting mixed up. Melody Maker 23-30 Dec. 1989, p. 38 ecu

acronym Also written Ecu or ECU (Business World) Short for European Currency Unit, a unit of account used as a notional currency within the EMS and in Eurobond trading, and intended as the future common currency of EC countries under EMU°. Also, a coin denominated in ecus.

Etymology: An acronym formed on the initial letters of European Currency Unit, but influenced by and deliberately referring back to the French word ‚cu, a name for a historical French gold or silver coin worth different amounts in different periods. This influence explains the fact that most English speakers use an anglicized version of the French pronunciation rather than spelling out. History and Usage: Ecu was adopted as the name for the European Community's currency unit in the early seventies (after a short period during which it was known as the EMU, or European Monetary Unit). In the UK the word was hardly known outside financial markets until the late eighties, when it became a central subject in discussions of EMS and EMU. The value of the ecu is based on a weighted average of a 'basket' of European currencies. The Delors report provided for the ecu to become the single European currency in the third stage of development of EMU, replacing the existing national currencies of EC member states. The UK government in particular opposed this implied loss of national sovereignty, and the Chancellor John Major put the issue at the centre of his counter-proposals for EMU in June 1990, suggesting an intermediate stage when Europe would use a hard ecu alongside national currencies, moving on to the ecu as a single currency unit only if individual member states decided they wanted this. Ecu coins were minted as collectors' items in some countries, including Belgium, where they have been legal currency since 1987, but are rarely used. Ecus were increasingly popular for business transactions, travellers' cheques, and as a stable currency for mortgages before the UK's entry to the ERM in October 1990. A million ecus make one mecu and a billion ecus one becu, although neither term is in common use. Charcol has launched a mortgage in ECUs...because ECUs should be less volatile than a single currency. Sunday Times 19 Feb. 1989, Business section, p. 15 'I think that really it will become a reality when that currency exists,' he says, pulling an ECU coin out of his pocket.

Financial World 7 Mar. 1989, p. 40 The 1989 budget was adopted on 15 December 1988 and provides for total Community expenditure of 44.8 becu (œ29.9 bn) in payment appropriations. Accountancy June 1989, p. 43 Another clever aspect of Mr Major's scheme is that the EMF would manage the ecu so that it was never devalued at a currency realignment: it would be a 'hard ecu'. Economist 23 June 1990, p. 64 5.4 E-free...


(Environment) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see E number

5.5 EFTPOS...

EFTPOS acronym Also written Eftpos, eft/pos, or EFT-Pos (Business World) (Science and Technology) Short for electronic funds transfer at point of sale, a method of paying for goods and services by transferring the cost electronically from the card-holder's account to the retailer's using a card such as a credit or debit card and a special terminal at the cash-desk. Etymology: The initial letters of Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale; the formation is modelled on the earlier acronyms EPOS and POS, point of sale. History and Usage: EFTPOS was heralded in the late seventies as the facility which would ensure a cashless society within a decade. In practice, it was not officially announced in the UK until 1982, and was only generally introduced in the second half of the eighties. The rather cumbersome abbreviation, which does not lend itself very readily to being pronounced as a word, is used mainly in business circles; popularly, EFTPOS facilities in the UK are usually known by the proper names Switch and Connect,

while in the US EFTPOS is often referred to simply as EFT (an abbreviation which has a longer history than EFTPOS). While Publix was launching its p.o.s. debit card system last week, Abell and other EFT experts suggested that any debit card system be considered carefully before a supermarket company invests in joining bank-controlled switch networks. Supermarket News 2 July 1984, p. 20 A trial of some 2,000 EFT-Pos terminals is set to take place, some time in the autumn of 1988, in retailers in Southampton, Leeds and Edinburgh. Daily Telegraph 29 May 1987, p. 19 EFTPOS...will save you the hassle of writing a cheque or carrying cash around. You hand over a debit card like Switch and Connect cards, which deduct money straight from your bank account. Which? Feb. 1990, p. 69 5.6 EGA card

EGA card (Science and Technology) see cardý 5.7 electro...

electro combining form, adjective, and noun (Music) (Youth Culture) combining form and adjective: (Of popular music) making heavy use of electronic instruments, especially synthesizers and drum machines. noun: A style of popular dance music with a strong and repetitive electronic beat and a synthesized backing track. Etymology: Electro- started life as a combining form of electric or electronic, as in familiar scientific terms such as

electromagnetism. In the musical sense it developed from combinations with the names of popular-music styles (electrobeat, electro-disco, etc.) to become an adjective in its own right, and eventually to be used as a noun to describe a particular style of dance music. History and Usage: The first combinations of electro- with the names of other popular-music styles date from the early eighties, when synthesized and electronically produced sounds were becoming very important in a number of different areas of pop. One of the earliest and most enduring combinations is electrofunk, which expresses just one of the new directions that funk has taken in the eighties. More temporary combinations have included electro-disco (perhaps the most important, especially in Belgium), electrobeat, electro-bop, electro-country, and electro-jazz. By the mid eighties the music papers had begun to use electro on its own, both as an adjective and as a noun. Sometimes this was used as another name for electric boogie, the music played on ghetto blasters as an accompaniment to break-dancing in the street, and a style which ultimately fed into hip hop. Pianist Herbie Hancock...played a sterling set totally unlike his tarted-up electro-funk of recent years. Maclean's 29 Mar. 1982, p. 66 No dress restrictions, music policy is well 'ard with P. Funk, House, Go-Go and Electro cutting in. Blues & Soul 3 Feb. 1987, p. 34 You get bored with the happening hardcore electro groove business. New Musical Express 25 Feb. 1989, p. 43 See also techno electrobash (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) see technostress

electronic adjective (Science and Technology) In machine-readable form; existing as data which must be read by a computer. Especially in: electronic mail (often abbreviated to email or e-mail), the transfer of messages or files of data in machine-readable form from one user to one or more others by means of a computer network; also, the messages that are sent and received using this facility; electronic publishing, the publication of text in machine-readable form (on tape, discs, CD-ROM, etc.) rather than on paper; texts published in this way; electronic text (sometimes abbreviated to etext), the machine-readable version of a text, which is created by data capture. Etymology: A development of the adjective electronic in the sense 'operated by the methods, principles, etc. of electronics' in which a subtle shift from active to passive has taken place: whereas in the original term electronic data processing (a synonym for computing in the sixties), electronic referred principally to the processing rather than to the data, now it is applied also to the 'soft' copy of the text, the object of the processing. Instead of being operated by electronics, these electronic media may only be operated upon by electronic equipment (in practice, specifically by computer). This shift is evident within the development of the term electronic mail itself, which at first only referred to the system (operated electronically), but later came to be used also of the messages (existing in a form which meant that they had to be operated upon by the computer). In general during this period electronic has tended to become a synonym for computerized. History and Usage: Electronic mail, which relies upon data transfer across telecommunications networks, began in the late seventies and by the mid eighties was frequently abbreviated to email or e-mail. Electronic publishing had begun during the seventies, but did not acquire this name until 1979 and only became a growth industry in the mid eighties; it tends to be

popularly confused with conventional publishing using electronic techniques (especially desk-top publishing). The proliferation of electronic text was a natural result of the growth of electronic publishing and increasing use of computers for editing and research work during the eighties. When our coded file arrives, PPI's Atex computer merges electronic text and digitized artwork into a complete page. Chemical Week 28 July 1982, p. 7 The first Electronic Publishing conference was held at Wembley four years ago. Daily Telegraph 13 June 1988, p. 27 We read and respond to e-mail as it pleases us, not at our correspondent's convenience. New Scientist 6 May 1989, p. 66 Just now the Soviet people are getting into networking. They are not yet used to the idea of electronic mail. Guardian 3 Aug. 1989, p. 20 electronic funds transfer at point of sale (Business World) (Science and Technology) see EFTPOS electronic keyboard (Music) (Science and Technology) see keyboard electronic point of sale (Business World) (Science and Technology) see EPOS electronic tablet (Science and Technology) see tablet electronic tagging (People and Society) (Science and Technology) see tag° 5.8 email...


(Science and Technology) see electronic


abbreviation (Business World) Short for European Monetary System, a financial arrangement which consists primarily of an exchange-rate mechanism (ERM) linking the currencies of some EC member countries to the ecu so as to limit excessive fluctuations in exchange rates, and common credit facilities. Etymology: The initial letters of European Monetary System. History and Usage: The EMS was set up in the late seventies, after the failure of the 'snake' to regulate currency fluctuations in Europe. It grew out of dissatisfaction among politicians from some EC countries (notably the former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Roy Jenkins, Helmut Schmidt of West Germany, and Val‚ry Giscard d'Estaing of France) with the slow progress of plans for economic and monetary union (see EMU° below). By the time EMS was formally accepted by the European Council in 1978 and put into effect in March 1979, the British government was not prepared to participate fully in it, declining to take part in the exchange rate mechanism which is the core of the system. EMS was widely discussed in the British newspapers during the late eighties, as plans for EMU began to move forward, the single European market of 1992 approached, and pressure increased on the UK to join EMS. There was a concentration of uses of the term during 1988-9, when it was reported that the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson favoured British participation as a way of controlling inflation, but could not break Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's opposition to it. This deadlock eventually contributed to Mr Lawson's resignation in October 1989. His successor, John Major, took the UK into the ERM in October 1990, even though the so-called Madrid conditions had not been met. Given the existence of the EMS, our continuing non-participation in the ERM cannot fail to cast practical doubt on that resolve [to beat inflation]. Nigel Lawson quoted in The Times Guide to 1992 (1990),

p.107 Sterling quickly lost the big early gains that followed ERM entry. But its ability to hold pre-EMS levels is no mean feat. Financial Times 5 Nov. 1990, section 1, p. 19 EMU°

abbreviation Also written Emu (Business World)

Short for economic and monetary union, a programme for full economic unity in the EC, based on the phased introduction of the ecu as a common currency. Etymology: Now nearly always explained as the initial letters of Economic (and) Monetary Union, although during earlier discussions (see below) it was intended to stand for European Monetary Union, and this expansion is still sometimes given. History and Usage: EMU is by no means a new abbreviation, the idea having been proposed as early as 1970 as a way of solving currency difficulties in France and Germany. The original plan envisaged that the full union of EC currencies should be achieved by 1980 and be based on a European monetary unit (see ecu). Little progress towards this aim had taken place by 1978, when the European Monetary System (see EMS) was adopted by eight member states as the EC's financial system, incorporating a mechanism for controlling exchange rates. A new impetus for EMU was the publication in April 1989 of the Delors report, a three-stage plan for introducing a common currency and aligning the economies of the Twelve. This was discussed at summits in Madrid and Strasburg during 1989, with Britain (or principally Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher) standing out against acceptance of the plan as it stood--despite the enthusiasm of other member states--because of the implied threat to national sovereignty; stage one was, however, adopted. In June 1990, Chancellor of the Exchequer John Major made a counter-proposal for the phased introduction of a common currency, designed to minimize the effect on sovereignty (see ecu). One result of all this discussion has been the very widespread use of the abbreviation in newspapers and the media generally during the late eighties and early nineties.

The EC's main debate a few months ago centered on 'EMU', or how to achieve economic and monetary union after 1992. International Management Mar. 1990, p. 21 EC monetary officials interpreted Mr Major's emphasis on the elements of agreement between the British government and the other EC countries on crucial aspects of the plan for EMU as a deliberate signal of a new line in London. Guardian 2 Apr. 1990, p. 8 EMUý

(Business World) see ecu

5.9 enterprise culture...

enterprise culture noun (Business World) (People and Society) A capitalist society in which entrepreneurial activity and initiative are explicitly encouraged; a culture founded on an individualistic, go-getting economic ethic. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a culture founded on (business) enterprise. In general, enterprise has been a favourite word in the economic vocabulary of the Conservative government in the UK during the eighties and nineties: see also enterprise zone below. History and Usage: Put forward by Sir Keith Joseph and other prominent Conservatives from the early eighties in the UK, the enterprise culture was modelled on the spirit of free enterprise which characterized US society. In the UK it found its expression principally in various schemes to encourage small businesses and financial self-reliance, as well as in the fostering of a more individualistic and materialistic atmosphere in British society. At the age of 27 she has embraced the enterprise culture and established Upstage Theatre.

Blitz Jan. 1989, p. 11 They are required their courses and explain how they are going to alter them in the light of the career prospects of their students, the enterprise culture, 1992...and, for all I know, the end of the world. Modern Painters Autumn 1989, p. 78 enterprise zone (Business World) An area in which a government seeks to stimulate new enterprise by creating financial incentives (such as tax concessions) for businesses. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a zone in which enterprise is actively fostered. History and Usage: Enterprise zones were first discussed in the late seventies, principally as a way of revitalizing economically depressed areas of inner cities, where there tended to be high levels of unemployment and relatively little investment. The idea has been tried in various parts of the world during the past ten years, including the US, the UK, and Australia. The enterprise zone...development will become the norm in Wales, as more service industries requiring office space move to the area. Building Today 22 June 1989, p. 26 E number noun (Environment) (Lifestyle and Leisure) A code number in the form of the letter E followed by a group of digits, used as a standard way of referring to approved food additives when listing ingredients on food or drink labels under EC regulations; by extension, an additive (especially the additive to which a particular code refers). Sometimes abbreviated to E, an additive.

Etymology: The initial letter of Europe(an) in a compound with number. History and Usage: The European Commission recommended in 1977 that all food additives should be declared by their name or their E number; by 1986 this was compulsory except in the case of flavourings. As the eighties progressed, and particularly after the publication in 1984 of Maurice Hanssen's book E for Additives, public awareness of E numbers grew steadily in the UK. By the early nineties, E number was often abbreviated to E alone and both terms were popularly used to refer to the additives themselves rather than the codes (a point which was picked up and exploited in a number of food-advertising campaigns). This resulted in labelling and advertising copy which used E-free as a synonym for additive-free. Apparently the effect of Es on Yuppie kids is dramatic. A simple glass of orange squash or a packet of crisps can bring them out in a rash or drive them barmy. Today 21 Oct. 1987, p. 36 It's not so long since we learned the link between eating certain 'E' numbers and the behaviour of highly disruptive children. She Oct. 1989, p. 2 environment° noun (Environment) Usually with the definite article, as the environment: the sum of the physical surroundings in which people live; especially, the natural world viewed as a unified whole with a pre-ordained interrelationship and balance among the parts which must be conserved. Hence sometimes used in an extended sense: conservation of the natural world; ecology. Etymology: A specialized use of environment, which literally means 'surroundings', and had been used in the sense of the particular set of physical features surrounding a person or thing since the early nineteenth century.

History and Usage: This sense of environment, which in the late eighties and early nineties has been the dominant general sense, grew out of the concern about the natural world--particularly the effects upon it of industrialization and pollution--which was first expressed in any concerted way in the sixties. By the early seventies, some governments were taking enough notice of these concerns to appoint a Minister (or Secretary ) for the Environment (colloquially environment minister, secretary); but the real vogue for this word only came in the second half of the eighties, after green politics took off in Europe and politicians in general realized that the environment promised to be the central political concern of the nineties. From the late eighties onwards, environment was frequently used in combinations, too, the most important being environment-friendly (see -friendly). The playfully formed opposite of this is environment-unfriendly (see unfriendlyý) or environment-hostile; other combinations include environment-conscious(ness) and environment-minded(ness). President Bush said that the environment was now on the 'front burner' and that no other subject, except the anti-drugs campaign, had aroused such fervour among his summit colleagues. Guardian 17 July 1989, p. 20 A campaign is being launched to encourage sustainable development within our cities. The status 'Environment City' will be awarded to the four coming nearest to the ideal. Natural World Spring/Summer 1990, p. 7 We have to have a government-backed labelling scheme before consumers throw up their hands in horror and revert to their old 'environment-hostile' ways. She Aug. 1990, p. 122 environmentý noun (Science and Technology)

In computing jargon, the overall structure (such as an operating system, a collection of software tools, etc.) within which a user, a computer, or a program operates or through which access can be gained to individual programs. Etymology: Another specialized use of the sense described above; the environment is still the sum total of the surrounding structure, but limited to the restricted world of the computer system. This metaphor of a restricted world is often extended to refer to the ability of a computer user to communicate only in one programming or operating language while in that language's environment, as if in a foreign country where only that language is spoken. History and Usage: Computer scientists have spoken of an integrated structure of tools or an operating system as an environment since at least the early sixties. What brought the term into popular use was the rapid development of home and personal computing in the late seventies and eighties. In Applications-by-Forms, the 4GL development environment, the interface includes a visual catalog for ease of use. UnixWorld Sept. 1989, p. 142 Designed with the user in mind, the A500 features a friendly WIMP environment and comes supplied with a free mouse. CU Amiga Apr. 1990, p. 93 environmental adjective (Environment) Concerned with the conservation of the environment (see environment°); hence, serving this cause: not harmful to the environment, environment-friendly. Etymology: A sense development of the adjective which arises directly from the use of environment as a kind of shorthand for 'conservation of the environment'.

History and Usage: The use of environmental in this sense seems to have begun in the US towards the end of the seventies, when advertisers first attempted to climb on to the bandwagon of concerns about the environment. In its more general sense 'to do with the conservation of the environment' it is used in a great variety of grammatical constructions; one of the recent ones, environmental labelling, is even more elliptical than most, contracting 'to do with the effects of the thing labelled on the conservation of the environment' to a single word. In local government and also in the private sector the term environmental services (first used as long ago as the late sixties) seems to have become the fashionable way to refer to the upkeep of the local environment, such as parks and public gardens, waste disposal (including the management of hazardous wastes), and street cleaning. See also environmental friendliness (under -friendly). Right Guard spray directs itself toward ecological armpits with the epithet 'new environmental Right Guard'. American Speech Spring 1983, p. 94 The Labour Party is planning to issue a 'Green Bill' later this year, setting out its plans for tackling atmospheric pollution, and its proposals for environmental labelling, litter control, handling hazardous waste, and improving water quality. Guardian Weekly 30 July 1989, p. 4 An environmental meeting in Bergen at which ministers from ECE's member countries discussed practical steps to promote 'sustainable growth', the catch-phrase...for economic growth that does not destroy the environment. EuroBusiness June 1990, p. 64 environmentalism noun (Environment) Concern with, or support for, the preservation of the environment (see environment°); green politics or consumerism.

Etymology: A new sense of environmentalism which also arises directly from the recent use of environment; previously, environmentalism was the name of the psychological theory that it is our environment ('nurture') rather than our inborn nature that determines individual or national character. History and Usage: The term environmentalism was first used in this sense in the US in the early seventies, at a time when the ecology movement was starting to gain some public support, but was still widely considered to be the concern of freaks and hippies. In its early uses, the word therefore had a rather derogatory nuance; this was completely turned round in the late eighties, as green ideas became both acceptable and desirable as a replacement for the conspicuous consumption of the first half of the decade. Environmentalist, which is used both as an adjective and as a noun, has a longer history than environmentalism but has enjoyed the same transformation from negative to positive connotations in the media. Even some politicians on the other side of the trenches felt the need to identify themselves with environmentalism. Sports Illustrated 15 Nov. 1982, p. 24 The kind of environmentalism that is finding favour with Bush and his friends in industry has a new slant, substituting the power of market forces for moral outrage and blanket control measures. Nature 22 June 1989, p. 570 Environmentalism is the new religion for the 'us generation' replacing the 'me generation', according to a report released this week. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 4 May 1990, p. 50 environmentally adverb (Environment) As regards the conservation of the environment (see

environment°); used especially to qualify an adjective, as in: environmentally aware, of a person or group: informed about contemporary concerns for the environment; sensitive to the effect upon the environment of a product, activity, etc.; environmentally friendly, environment-friendly (see -friendly); environmentally sensitive, of a geographical area: officially recognized as containing a habitat for rare species or some other natural feature which should be protected from destruction; environmentally sound, of a product: having no harmful effects on the environment; environment-friendly. Etymology: Most of these formations use environmentally in a way which can be predicted from the developments in the use of environment (see above); the exception is environmentally friendly, which involves a grammatical development as well. The original term environment-friendly, modelled on user-friendly in computing, implies a dative construction: 'friendly to the environment'. Once the hyphen was dropped and the free-standing adjective friendly also acquired the meaning 'harmless', it had to be qualified by an adverb--hence environmentally friendly. History and Usage: Work on environmentally sensitive areas (abbreviation ESA) began in Canada in the mid seventies and soon spread to other industrialized countries; government regulations ensured that economic development, agricultural practices, etc. were not allowed to destroy the natural beauty of these areas. Environmentally friendly, by far the commonest of the other combinations, was first used in the US during the mid eighties; it owes its popularity in part to the enthusiasm with which manufacturers began labelling their products with it, sometimes with little foundation--a practice which in the UK led to calls for government regulation of eco-labelling. New formations with environmentally are cropping up all the time: the ones mentioned here are some of the more important and lasting. One has to be reasonable. The factory means jobs. There is no factory without emissions. It just has to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Christian Science Monitor 6 Apr. 1984, p. 9 Under new proposals from the European Commission, member states are empowered to pay farmers to continue with or revert to traditional farming methods in environmentally sensitive areas. New Scientist 15 May 1986, p. 30 Nobody can deny that there are occasions on which the careful guiding of a river along its course requires some bank reinforcement. However, there are plenty of sensible materials to hand for the environmentally aware river engineer. Jeremy Purseglove Taming the Flood (1989), p. 191 Environmentally friendly household products are big news on the shopping front. Health Shopper Jan./Feb. 1990, p. 7 5.10 EPOS


acronym Also written Epos or epos (Business World) (Science and Technology) Short for electronic point of sale, a computerized system of stock control in shops, in which bar-codes on the goods for sale are scanned electronically at the till, which is in turn linked to a central stock-control computer. Etymology: The initial letters of Electronic Point Of Sale; its inventors probably chose to add E (for electronic) to the already existing POS, point of sale. History and Usage: EPOS was introduced in the early eighties and by 1990 was widely used in the larger chains of stores. In order for EPOS to be used, all goods must carry a bar-code and special electronic tills must be installed, making the changeover an expensive business; one large chain even uses EPOS

as a verb meaning 'to convert (goods, a shop, etc.) to an EPOS system'. The barcoding of books by their publishers is crucial to the success of the WHS epos system. Bookseller 1 Mar. 1986, p. 819 All of the supermarkets (except Waitrose) now have some branches with the EPOS [Electronic Point of Sale] system. Which? Feb. 1990, p. 69 I Eposed Oxford--that's where the grey hairs came from. Bookseller 26 Apr. 1991, p. 1232 See also EFTPOS 5.11 ERM


(Business World) see EMS

5.12 ESA


(Environment) see environmentally

5.13 etext...


(Science and Technology) see electronic

ethical investment noun (Business World) In financial jargon, investment which takes account of the client's scruples by screening the companies to be invested in for their business morality and social outlook. Etymology: A transparent combination of ethical and investment.

History and Usage: The demand for ethical investment began in the US in the early eighties and was a natural consequence of the drive to involve ordinary people in capital investment; clearly some customers would not feel happy about handing over their portfolios only to find that they were unwittingly supporting companies whose principles they were unable to agree with. Investments which customers have wanted to avoid have included the politically questionable (notably companies with South African connections), the armaments industry, and companies making 'unhealthy' products (especially tobacco and alcohol). Ethical investment became fashionable in the UK and Australia during the second half of the eighties. The latest craze to be imported from America is for 'ethical investment'. Almost every week, there seems to be a new unit trust launched which promises to invest your money only in 'socially screened' firms. Daily Telegraph 25 Sept. 1987, p. 20 Labor backbencher Mr Hayward told Parliament last night that Queensland should legislate to attract 'ethical investment' by superannuation and other funds. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 29 Sept. 1988, p. 26 ethnic

adjective (Music) (Youth Culture) Of pop and rock music: inspired by, or incorporating elements of, the native music of a particular ethnic group. Especially in ethnic pop or ethnic rock, pop or rock music which fuses native musical traditions with Western rock styles. Etymology: A development of the adjective ethnic in the sense 'of or pertaining to (a particular) race'; by the mid sixties the adjective was already being used in the more general sense of 'foreign', and this development is simply an application of that sense in a particular context. History and Usage: The adjective ethnic has been applied to folk and modern music for some decades, but the fashion for ethnic elements in pop and rock music dates from the late

seventies. The distinction between ethnic music and world music is often not clearly drawn. As majors attempt to follow Island's commendable packaging of ethnic music, they rely on yet another promotional push to find Africa's Bob Marley. Blitz Jan. 1989, p. 35 Shanachie, the New Jersey-based record company that has specialized in funky international ethnic pop, recently put out two Mahlathini albums. Washington Post 15 June 1990, section 2, p. 17 5.14 Euro...


noun (Politics) Either a European or a Eurocommunist (see Euro-). Etymology: Formed by shortening European, probably under the influence of the combining form Euro- used as a free-standing adjective; compare Brit used as a noun. History and Usage: These two rather different uses have been current since the mid eighties; the sense 'a Eurocommunist' really belongs to the jargon used by Communists among themselves, while the more general sense 'a European' is a colloquial nickname for all Europeans (including the British) in the US, but largely limited to continental Europeans (or those in favour of European integration) when used by the British. In this latter use it was particularly topical during the debate about European integration (see EMU°). I'm the only person I know that tries to persuade both Euros and Tankies to join the Labour Party. Marxism Today May 1985, p. 9 Why didn't we assert British Rule and make the Euros change to furlongs and chains, bushels and pecks?

Listener 6 Feb. 1986, p. 43 There are the chic Euros on holiday, the armies of retired people, and the smart 'Miami Vice' clones. Newsday 5 Jan. 1989, p. 2 A dense fog of rhetoric in which the Thatcherites insist on their commitment to co-operation and the Euros insist on their devotion to British sovereignty. Spectator 20 May 1989, p. 6 Euroý

noun (Business World) Colloquially in finance (especially in the US): a Eurobond, Eurodollar, Eurodollar future, or other item traded on the Euromoney markets (see Euro-). Etymology: Formed by abbreviating Euromoney or any of the other financial terms formed on Euro-. History and Usage: Although probably in spoken use for some time, Euro in this sense did not start to appear in print until the early eighties, at first as a shorthand for Eurodollar future. These futures were traded especially at the Chicago Board of Trade, the New York Futures Exchange (from 1981), and the London International Financial Futures Exchange (from 1982). By the end of the eighties the abbreviated form Euro had become very common in financial writing and was no longer limited to Eurodollar futures. Euros have a very good correlation with domestic CDs--so good, in fact, that maybe the market will not need both contracts. American Banker 9 July 1981, p. 11 Euros tend to remain liquid for a longer period...If people would downgrade the definition of liquidity..., you would find a lot of Eurobonds are liquid.

Institutional Investor May 1988, p. 105 Euro-

combining form (Politics) The first part of the name Europe and the adjective European, widely used in compounds and blends relating to Europe, the European Community, or the 'European' money market. Hence as a free-standing adjective: European, conforming to EC standards or belonging to a European institution. Etymology: The first two syllables of Europe or European, Eurobegan as a regular adjectival combining form with the function of linking two adjectives together, as in Euro-American, Euro-African, etc. History and Usage: Like eco-, Euro- has enjoyed two fashionable periods in English, the first during the sixties (when British membership was first under discussion) and the second more recently, as EC institutions and standards have begun to impinge more on the British way of life and a greater degree of European integration has been under discussion. When the European Common Market was first set up in the late fifties, it was nicknamed Euromarket or Euromart by some (perhaps in imitation of Eurovision, which had begun in the early fifties), and this began the earlier fashion for formations with Euro-. The Eurowords of the sixties included Eurocrat (a European bureaucrat), Europarliament, Eurofarmer, and several terms to do with the Euromarket in the sense of the 'European' financial markets (such as Eurobond and Euroissue). In the seventies came (amongst others) Eurocentrism (or Eurocentricity), Euro-MP, Eurosummit, and Eurocredit. The rapid growth of the market in Eurocurrencies (some of which are exemplified below) and in Eurobond trading has meant that Euro- has been one of the most fashionable combining forms for financial terms during the eighties and early nineties (examples include Euroconvertible, an adjective or noun applied to Eurobonds which can be converted into another type of security, and Euroequity, an international equity issue). By the late seventies it had also become a fashionable combining form for all consumer products, packaging, etc. produced to EC standards (including Eurobottle, Euro-pack,

Euro-pass, and Eurocode) as well as for the standards themselves (Eurostandards). Europe has also been blamed (although perhaps unfairly) for the design of the large wheeled rubbish bin known as a Eurobin or wheelie bin. EC standards and regulations themselves came in for some criticism for their use of gobbledygook, which came to be known as Eurobabble (see -babble), Eurojargon, Eurolingo, or Eurospeak. The apparent inability of EC countries to cope with the commercial challenges of new technology gave rise to the term Eurosclerosis in the early eighties, but this tended to die out in the late eighties as the single European market of 1992 approached and a more optimistic view was taken of the economies of the Twelve. Nevertheless there was much discussion of the pros and cons of European integration in the late eighties, and the issue certainly contributed to the downfall of Margaret Thatcher, who was considered Britain's leading Euro-sceptic. Quite independently of the EC, an important political development of the second half of the seventies was the rise of Eurocommunism, a brand of communism which emphasized acceptance of democratic institutions and sought to influence European politics from within; in the mid eighties the Eurocommunists and Eurosocialists sought to resolve their differences and re-form under the more general heading of the Euroleft. The music scene also had a vogue for Euro- words, with Eurodisco, Europop, and Eurorock. In the late seventies and eighties there was opposition to the deployment of Euromissiles and heated discussion in the US over Eurosubsidies given to European firms setting up business or marketing products there. From the beginning Euro- was popular in proper names (for organizations, projects, etc.)--examples include Eurocontrol for air-traffic control from the early sixties, Eurotransplant for an international file of potential donors in the early eighties, and more recent formations such as EuroCypher, an encryption system for satellite transmissions, and Eurotunnel, the Anglo-French consortium which undertook the building of the channel tunnel--and in these cases the capital initial was usually kept. In other Euro- words, though, there is a tendency for the capital to be replaced by a lower-case initial once the word becomes established, and for hyphenated forms to be joined up into a solid word. Occasionally Euro (or euro) is used as a free-standing word operating as an adjective and simply meaning

'European' (see the examples below). Mrs Thatcher is seen in most of the EEC as a Euro-sceptic at best. The Times 30 June 1986, p. 9 A maximum fine of œ1,000 is proposed for owners of all lawnmowers which fail to 'produce a noise of acceptable EEC standard, or Euronoise'. Independent 4 Dec. 1986, p. 1 Though far larger than the domestic stockmarket, the eurodollar market does not directly involve the general public. Michael Brett How to Read the Financial Pages (1987), p. 2 Investors in Industry...yesterday made its first foray into the Euroyen market with the issue of a 12 billion, only the third conventional Euroyen issue by a British company. The Times 14 Feb. 1987, p. 18 The Euro terrorists announced...that they had set up a 'Western European Revolutionary offensive'. Evening Standard 24 Mar. 1987, p. 7 While outside influences transform Euro-pop, white America sticks to some well-tested styles. Guardian 7 July 1989, p. 33 The Communists meanwhile have split into two separate groups; a 28-strong 'Euro' tendency led by the Italian PCI, and an 'orthodox' grouping of French, Greek and Portuguese communists and the single Irish Workers' Party member.

Guardian 24 July 1989, p. 3 The name Britannia had been dropped from the deal because its nationalistic connotations could have obvious drawbacks in a pan-Euro venture. European Investor May 1990, p. 57 It would be very regrettable if anyone sought to divert the party down a Euro-sceptic path. Daily Telegraph 29 Nov. 1990, p. 2 How Euro are you? Radio Times 18 May 1991, p. 72 Eurobabble (Politics) see -babble European Currency Unit (Business World) see ecu European Monetary System (Business World) see EMS 5.15 Eve


(Drugs) see Adam

5.16 exchange rate mechanism...

exchange rate mechanism (Business World) see EMS Exocet

noun and verb (War and Weaponry)

noun: The trade mark of a kind of rocket-propelled short-range guided missile, used especially in sea warfare. Used figuratively: something devastating and unexpected, a 'bombshell'.

transitive or intransitive verb: To deliver a devastating attack on (something) with, or as if with, an Exocet missile; to move as if hit by a missile, to 'rocket'. Etymology: A direct borrowing from French exocet, literally 'flying fish'; the missiles are made by a French company and they skim across the surface of water like flying fish, making them virtually impossible to detect and destroy. History and Usage: The name has been registered as a trade mark in the UK since 1970, but came to prominence during the Falklands war of 1982. In particular, the destruction of Royal Naval ships by Argentinian Exocet missiles during that conflict helped to establish the figurative use of the word, both as a noun and as a verb. Then he produced his Exocet: a copy of your most recent readership survey. New Statesman 27 Sept. 1985, p. 13 The full range of missiles--notably the Exocet, whose very name...has become synonymous with highly efficient death and destruction--will be on display. The Times 10 June 1987, p. 20 Burton's family are furious at Sally's decision to sell the family home...Their Exocet reply is to back a critical biography of the late screen hero. Telegraph (Brisbane) 6 Jan. 1988, p. 5 I presented the bristle end of a broom to the back end of the pony, which exoceted up the ramp into the trailer. Daily Telegraph 16 Dec. 1989, Weekend section, p. vii expansion card (Science and Technology) see cardý

expert system noun (Science and Technology) A computer system using software which stores and applies the knowledge of experts in a particular field, so that a person using the system can draw upon that expertise to make decisions, inferences, etc. Etymology: Formed by compounding: although not itself expert, the system is founded on expert knowledge, proving the truth of the maxim that a computer system can only be as good as the input it receives (a principle in computing that is known by the acronym GIGO, or garbage in, garbage out). History and Usage: The first expert systems were developed in the second half of the seventies; they have proved very successful and popular, especially in diagnostic work, because of their ability to consider large numbers of symptoms or variables at one time and reach logical conclusions. The technology of expert systems is said to have now matured to a point where it can help manufacturers improve productivity and hence their competitive position. British Business 14 Apr. 1989, p. 9 explosive device (War and Weaponry) see device 6.0 F

6.1 F


(Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see fibre

6.2 faction...

faction noun (Lifestyle and Leisure)

A blend of fact and fiction, especially when used as a literary genre, in film-making, etc.; documentary fiction. Also, a book, film, etc. that uses this technique. Etymology: Formed by telescoping the words fact and fiction to make a blend. History and Usage: The word was invented in the late sixties, when there was a fashion for novels based on real or historical events. In the eighties, the term was also applied to the dramatized television documentaries sometimes called docudramas or drama-docs (see doc, docu-). The adjective used to describe a work of this kind is factional or factionalized; the process of combining fact and fiction into a narrative is factionalization. His Merseyside is vivid enough, every bit as 'real' as those fictionalised documentaries we are learning to call 'faction'. Listener 30 June 1983, p. 16 Factional drama will be discussed in detail at a BBC seminar. The Times 13 July 1988, p. 1 Humphrey's... No Resting Place...offers a factionalised account of Indian history. Literary Review Aug. 1989, p. 14 factoid noun and adjective (Lifestyle and Leisure) noun: A spurious or questionable fact; especially, something that is popularly supposed to be true because it has been reported (and often repeated) in the media, but is actually based on speculation or even fabrication. adjective: Apparently factual, but actually only partly true; 'factional' (see faction above). Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -oid (from Latin -oides

and ultimately derived from Greek eidos 'form') to fact; the implication is that these spurious pieces of information have the form or appearance of facts, but are actually something quite different. History and Usage: The word was coined by the American writer Norman Mailer in 1973. In his book Marilyn (a biography of Marilyn Monroe), he defined factoids as facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper, creations which are not so much lies as a product to manipulate emotion in the Silent Majority. Since it so aptly described the mixture of fact and supposition that often characterized both biography and journalism in the seventies and eighties, factoid established a place for itself in the language as a noun and as an adjective. Santa Fe is full of writers, which is what he has now become. His speciality is big fat factoids full of real people, especially his old boss. The Times 19 Mar. 1987, p. 17 The vast bulk of it is devoted to a somewhat breathless and awestruck factoid account of how these difficulties will work themselves out to an inevitable, or at least dauntingly probable, finale. Spectator 4 July 1987, p. 31 factor VIII noun Also written factor eight (Health and Fitness) A substance in blood which is essential to the coagulation process and is deficient in haemophiliacs. Etymology: Substances which contribute to the blood-clotting process have been called factors since the early years of this century, and were assigned a series of identifying Roman numerals by medical researchers. This is the eighth in the series.

History and Usage: Although congenital factor VIII deficiency had been identified as the cause of haemophilia by the fifties, the term did not become widely known until the Aids era. In the mid eighties, before the implications of Aids for the blood donor system were fully understood, thousands of haemophiliacs worldwide were infected with the Aids virus HIV as a result of receiving injections to boost their levels of factor VIII. This, and the subsequent actions for damages, brought the term factor VIII to public attention. Doctors, unaware of the cause of his illness, pumped him with huge doses of Factor VIII...But with AIDS becoming a public issue...both he and Elizabeth were aware that the massive transfusions of blood could well have exposed him to the virus. New Idea (Melbourne) 9 May 1987, p. 8 More than 1,200 haemophiliacs were infected with the Aids virus after treatment with contaminated Factor VIII, a blood-clotting agent that was administered through the NHS. Sunday Times 30 Sept. 1990, p. 1 fanny pack noun Also written fannypack (Lifestyle and Leisure) The US slang name for a bum-bag. Etymology: Formed by compounding; in US slang, fanny is the equivalent of British slang bum and has none of the sexual connotations of the British English fanny. History and Usage: Fanny pack has a similar history in US English to that of bum-bag in British English, arising as long as twenty years ago as a term used by skiers, motorcyclists, etc. (sometimes with variations on the name, such as fanny bag or fanny belt) and moving into the more general vocabulary when the idea was taken up by the fashion world in the late eighties. As a fashion accessory in the US, the fanny pack has also been called a belly-bag, reflecting the fact that it is worn at the

front rather than the back (see bum-bag) or belt bag, avoiding all reference to human anatomy. I've hurt myself and my cameras numerous times...but I've never had a problem, even doing an eggbeater at full speed, with my gear tucked away inside a fannypack. Sierra Jan.-Feb. 1985, p. 45 Christin Ranger...says her company put out six versions this year (compared with only two last year), including larger fanny packs that hold lunches or tennis shoes and front-loaders with just enough room for a wallet. Newsweek 5 Dec. 1988, p. 81 fast-food adjective (Drugs) Of substances other than food, especially drugs: instant; quick and easy to make, obtain, and use. Also occasionally of non-material things: intellectually accessible; easy to present or understand. Etymology: A figurative use of fast food, a term which has been used since the fifties in the US and the seventies in the UK for food which is kept hot or partially prepared in a restaurant and so can be served quickly when required. The term fast food was used attributively (in fast-food service, fast-food outlet, etc.) before being used as a compound noun in its own right, so it is hardly surprising that it should now be perceived and used as an adjective, replacing instant in some contexts. History and Usage: Fast-food was first used in this figurative way in the late seventies and was applied to drugs from the middle of the eighties, when the rapid spread of crack on the streets of US cities could be attributed to the fact that it was easily made, cheap to buy, and instantly smokable--it seemed to drug enforcement agencies that anyone who wanted to obtain the drug could do so as easily as buying a hamburger. The description provides a useful distinction between the fast-food drugs offering instant gratification (like crack and ice) and the more complex designer drugs, and so has stuck. The term can be applied in its figurative sense also to consumable but

non-material things (such as broadcasting or the arts); this is the more established figurative use and may yet prove to be the most enduring as well. If he does talk, listen. Do not respond with 'fast-food' answers such as 'Heck, it can't be so bad', or 'Why don't you take the afternoon off?' Industry Week 9 Mar. 1981, p. 45 Fast-food opera that will face an anniversary judgment. headline in Guardian 3 July 1989, p. 19 A few years ago, all the talk was about more complex, more expensive 'designer drugs'. Ironically it has turned out to be the fast-food drugs like crack and ice...that are tearing us apart. People 13 Nov. 1989, p. 13 fast track noun, adjective, and verb Also written fast-track when used as an adjective or verb (Business World) (Lifestyle and Leisure) noun: A hectic lifestyle or job involving rapid promotion and intense competition; also called the fast lane. adjective: High-flying, enjoying or capable of rapid advancement. transitive verb: To promote (a person) rapidly, to accelerate or rush (something) through. Etymology: A figurative use of the horse-racing term fast track (which dates from the thirties), a race-track on which the going is dry and hard enough to enable the horses to run fast; track has a long history in US terms to do with careers, for example in the concept of a tenure track for academics. History and Usage: The figurative use of fast track in business arose in the mid sixties; it may owe its popularity to US President Richard Nixon, who claimed at that time that he

preferred New York to California because it was the fast track. Certainly it became a vogue word in US business circles during the seventies, in all its grammatical uses, and developed a number of derivatives: the agent-noun fast-tracker (and even fast-tracknik), a person who lives or works in the fast track; also the verbal noun fast-tracking, the practice of promoting staff rapidly or accelerating processes. In the eighties this vogue has spread to British English, although in the UK fast lane is still probably better known as the name for the hectic, competitive lifestyle of the yuppie. Some of the fast trackers seem so preoccupied with getting ahead that they don't always notice the implications of what they do. Fortune June 1977, p. 160 Many a thrusting young manager or fast-track public servant has had his hopes dashed. The Times 15 Dec. 1984, p. 7 An assurance was given to 'fast track' the required planning procedures. Stock & Land (Melbourne) 5 Mar. 1987, p. 3 fatigue

(People and Society) see compassion fatigue

fattism noun Also written fatism (People and Society) Discrimination against, or the tendency to poke fun at, overweight people. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ism (as in racism and sexism) to fat. History and Usage: Fattism is one of a large number of formations ending in -ism which became popular in the eighties to describe perceived forms of discrimination (see also ableism, ageism, and heterosexism). This one belongs to the second half of the eighties, a time when general diet-consciousness and an emphasis on physical fitness in Western societies made being

overweight almost into a moral issue. It was coined by American psychologist Rita Freedman in the book Bodylove (1988), in which she points out the insidious influence of one's personal appearance on others (in particular the notion that obese people are lazy or undisciplined): Looksism gives birth to fatism, another cruel stereotype that affects us all. It is usually used only half-seriously, though, as is the corresponding adjective fat(t)ist. The adjective appears to be becoming more established in the language than the noun at present, but neither promises to be permanent. Fatist is a refreshing new word to me, as opposed to fattest which is much more familiar. Spare Rib Oct. 1987, p. 5 Dawn French makes no apologies about her size, and any frisson of incipient fattism is instantly quashed in her commanding presence. Sunday Express Magazine 25 Mar. 1990, p. 18 Now Ms Wood looks smarter and has lost so much weight, some of her fattist pieces lose their credibility. Gay Times Nov. 1990, p. 71 fatwa

noun Also written Fatwa or fatwah (Politics) A legal decision or ruling given by an Islamic religious leader. Etymology: A direct borrowing from Arabic; the root in the original language is the same verb fata (to instruct by a legal decision) from which we get the word Mufti, a Muslim legal expert or teacher. History and Usage: Actually an old borrowing from Arabic (in the form fetfa or fetwa it has been in use in English since the seventeenth century), the fatwa acquired a new currency in the English-language media in February 1989, when Iran's Ayatollah

Khomeini issued a fatwa sentencing the British writer Salman Rushdie to death for publishing The Satanic Verses (1988), a book which many Muslims considered blasphemous and highly offensive. Fatwa is a generic term for any legal decision made by a Mufti or other Islamic religious authority, but, because of the particular context in which the West became familiar with the word, it is sometimes erroneously thought to mean 'a death sentence'. The...International Committee...have capitalized on the outrage felt at the notorious fatwa to drive forward with new confidence the long-nurtured campaign for total abolition of blasphemy laws in this country. Bookseller 29 Sept. 1989, p. 1068 This Fatwa...was written and signed by the Grand Ayatollah of Shia in Iraq, explaining his position regarding the executions of 16 Kuwaiti Pilgrims after the Saudi media quoted his name. Independent 27 Oct. 1989, p. 10 [He]...rejected the findings of a BBC opinion poll which claimed that only 42 per cent of Muslims in Britain supported the fatwah. Independent 16 July 1990, p. 5 fax°

noun and verb (Science and Technology) noun: Facsimile telegraphy (a system allowing documents to be scanned, digitized, and transmitted to a remote destination using the telephone network); a copy of a document transmitted in this way; a machine capable of performing facsimile telegraphy (known more fully as a fax machine). transitive verb: To transmit (a document) by fax. Etymology: An abbreviated and respelt form of facsimile; sometimes popularly associated with the respelt form of facts in the next entry.

History and Usage: Experiments in different methods of facsimile transmission began in the late nineteenth century; the first successful transmission of a document took place in 1925. Fax technology was first written about using this name in the forties, describing a method of transmitting newspaper text by radio rather than by telephone; this was the result of research and development work carried out by the American electrical engineer and inventor John V. L. Hogan during the late twenties and thirties. In 1944, after contributing to military use of facsimile during the Second World War, he was instrumental in forming Broadcasters' Faximile Analysis, a research project linking broadcasters and newspaper publishers in the US, but their plans to provide a facsimile news service in individual homes failed because of licensing difficulties. Legal restrictions on the use of telephone equipment which did not belong to the telephone company also stood in the way of widespread application of telephone fax, and the word fax remained in the technical jargon of telegraphy until these restrictions were lifted and the machines became widely affordable for business use in the early eighties. By the middle of the eighties, it had already developed the three distinct uses mentioned above as well as being widely used as a verb, and it was commonplace for company notepaper to carry a firm's fax number (the telephone number to be dialled to enable the firm to receive a faxed document) as well as standard telephone and telex numbers. Derivatives include faxable (capable of being faxed), faxee (a person to whom a fax is sent), faxer (a sender of faxes), faxham (a person who uses the fax as a radio ham uses short-wave radio to contact unknown enthusiasts), and faxing (the sending of faxes). As the technology improved, fax became faster and cheaper. Daily Telegraph 21 Nov. 1986, p. 16 In a five-storey office building, there may be a fax on each floor. Observer Magazine 19 June 1988, p. vi NFUC sent out several thousand faxes urging the faxees to refax the fax to the fax machines in the governor's

office. Washington Post 23 May 1989, section C, p. 5 He had not faxed me specifically, he continued, since he did not know me from Adam--the faxham simply tapped arbitrarily into the void...hoping sometime, somewhere, to encounter responsive life. The Times 20 Mar. 1990, p. 14 faxý

plural noun Colloquially, facts, information, 'gen'. Etymology: A playful respelling of facts (compare sox for socks), in this case reflecting the lack of a t sound in most people's casual pronunciation of the word. History and Usage: This spelling of facts was devised by Thackeray in his Yellowplush correspondence: Fashnable fax and polite annygoats, first published in 1837. It has been common in popular magazines and newspapers using normal modern orthography since about the 1970s and had formed the second element of trade marks (see Ceefax and Filofax) for decades before that. However, it was only when the Filofax and facsimile (fax°) became fashionable in the eighties that fax really acquired any popular currency as a word in its own right; the increasing emphasis on information as a commodity in eighties culture has helped it to establish a place in the language that is not simply a newspaper editor's pun. Eco-fax. These pages are designed for you to fill in the address and/or telephone numbers you may need. John Button How to be Green (1989), p. 230

fax-napping (Lifestyle and Leisure) see Filofax 6.3 FF

6.4 FF


(Lifestyle and Leisure) see functional food

6.5 fibre...


noun (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) Food material such as bran and cellulose that is not broken down by the process of digestion; roughage. Often in the fuller form dietary fibre; occasionally abbreviated to F, especially in the US trade mark F Plan Diet (or F-Plan), a weight-reducing diet based on a high fibre intake to provide bulk without calories. Etymology: A specialized use of fibre in its collective sense of 'matter consisting of animal or vegetable fibres'. History and Usage: Scientists have written about fibre in this sense since the early years of this century; what brought it into the more popular domain and made it a fashionable subject was the discovery in the seventies that a high-fibre diet could help to prevent certain digestive illnesses, including cancers of the colon, diverticular disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. In the eighties, the green movement added impetus to this by stressing the need to concentrate on natural, unprocessed foods (the highly refined foods which most people in developed countries normally eat contain relatively little fibre). The F-Plan diet (the book of which was published in 1982) is one of many diets put forward in the eighties which emphasize the need for fibre, and the word now seems to have taken over from the more old-fashioned roughage in popular usage. The newly promoted F plan diet, which underlined the nutritional value of beans, fortuitously coincided with the Heinz campaign message. 'They were talking fibre; we were talking goodness.' Financial Times 18 Aug. 1983, p. 9 Bran is one type of fibre, nature's own 'filler' that is

present only in plant foods and is essential for proper digestion. Here's Health Apr. 1986, p. 127 Get into a wholefood diet routine, sticking to high-fibre low fat foods, plenty of salads, fresh fruit and vegetables. Health Shopper Jan./Feb. 1990, p. 9 Filofax noun (Business World) (Lifestyle and Leisure) The trade mark of a type of loose-leaf portable filing system; a personal organizer. Etymology: A respelling of file of facts which is meant to reflect colloquial pronunciation. History and Usage: The Filofax has been made for several decades (the trade mark was first registered in the early thirties), but the name was not widely known until the early eighties, when it suddenly became fashionable (especially for business people) to carry a Filofax. These small loose-leaf folders usually contain a diary and other personal documentation such as an address book, planner, note section, maps, etc., as well as a wallet with spaces for a pen, credit cards, and other small non-paper items. In the mid eighties the Filofax was associated particularly with the yuppie set--the word was even used attributively in the sense 'yuppie'. By the end of the decade all sorts of people could be seen with Filofaxes--or with one of the numerous imitations of the Filofax proper--and a growing market developed for different types of filofax insert. So popular were they that variations on the theme started to appear--notably Filofiction, novels produced on hole-punched sheets to fit a Filofax. (Some other examples of the birth of filo- as a combining form are given in the quotations below.) Filofax is even occasionally used as a verb, meaning 'to steal a Filofax from (someone) in order to demand a ransom for its return'--a crime apparently known colloquially as filo-napping or fax-napping. The Digger guide to Metropolitan Manners No 1: Yup and

Non-Yup by Ivor Pawsh (Advice: consult filonotes when reading this). Digger 9 Oct. 1987, p. 26 Small neat people tend to go for the small neat organizers while fatsos nearly always buy large Filofaxes and stuff them fit to burst. The Times 10 June 1988, p. 27 An advertisement in last week's Bookseller for Filofiction--or what the publishers describe as 'publishing's brightest new idea'. New Scientist 28 July 1988, p. 72 Taxpak '89 is a new filofax insert detailing the Budget changes, enabling you to check your income tax allowance. Investors Chronicle 17-23 Mar. 1989, p. 35 One of the more Americanised [pop groups] of England's filofax funksters. Listener 4 May 1989, p. 36 The filoflask...a normal personal organiser but with a hip flask fitted inside, is being marketed. The Times 14 June 1990, p. 27 finger-dry transitive verb (Lifestyle and Leisure) To style and dry (the hair) by running one's fingers through it to lift it and give it body while it dries naturally in the warmth of the air. Also as an adjective finger-dried and action noun finger-drying. Etymology: A transparent combination of finger and dry; the warmth from the fingers apparently also helps to dry the hair.

History and Usage: Hair has no doubt been finger-dried since the beginning of time; the technique was only graced with the fashion term finger-drying at the beginning of the eighties, when hairdressers sought a more natural look than could be achieved with the blow-dried styles of the seventies. Howard layered Jocelyn's hair, and finger-drying brought out its natural movement. Woman's Realm 10 May 1986, p. 29 An advance on the razor is the new texturising technique which forms a feathery, textured look and is ideal for finger-dried styles. Cornishman 5 June 1986, p. 8 6.6 flak...


noun (Business World) (Politics) In business and political jargon, short for flak-catcher: a person employed by an individual or institution to deal with all adverse comment, questions, etc. from the public, thereby shielding the employer from unfavourable publicity. Etymology: Formed by a combination of semantic change and abbreviation. Flak was originally borrowed into English from the German initials of a compound word meaning 'pilot defence gun' in the Second World War, for an anti-aircraft gun and (by extension) anti-aircraft fire; by the late sixties it was being used figuratively to mean 'a barrage of criticism or abuse'. The sense under discussion here arose by shortening the compound flak-catcher to flak again, perhaps involving some confusion with the word flack, an established US term for a press agent which was allegedly coined quite independently by the entertainment paper Variety in the late thirties. Variety claimed that this word for a press agent was the surname of Gene Flack, a well-known movie agent. History and Usage: An example of a well-established Americanism

that has only gained a place in British English in the past few years. The term flak-catcher was popularized at the beginning of the seventies in the US (by the writer Tom Wolfe in Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers); the name was apt enough to stick in US English, and to be applied in British English as well during the seventies to those slick spokesmen who can turn any question to the advantage of the government or organization whose image they are employed to protect. The abbreviation to flak belongs to the late seventies in the US and the eighties in the UK. The form flak-catching (as an adjective or noun) also occurs. Spitting Image...has firmly established itself as TV's premiŠre flak-catching slot. Listener 7 Mar. 1985, p. 29 The tone is world-weary, that of the flakcatcher for whom life has become an arduous process of warding off, out-manoeuvring, beating down. Times Literary Supplement 31 Oct. 1986, p. 1210 Most U.S. companies employ spokespeople who are paid to parrot the company line...To reporters they are derisively known as 'flaks' whose main duties consist of peddling press releases. Bryan Burrough & John Helyar Barbarians at the Gate (1990), p. 293 flake

noun (People and Society) In US slang: an eccentric, dim, or unreliable person, a 'screwball'. Etymology: A back-formation from the adjective flaky, which in US slang has been used in the sense 'odd, eccentric, unpredictable' since the mid sixties. History and Usage: Flake was first used in US baseball slang and in college slang generally in the sixties; during the seventies it passed into general slang use in the US, and by the early eighties was becoming more widely known still through its

use in political contexts (compare wimp°). Out in California, Gov. Jerry Brown--often called a flake--was campaigning against San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson...Larry Liebert...quoted an anonymous Brown aide as asking 'Why trade a flake for a wimp.' New York Times Magazine 24 Oct. 1982, p. 16 flashy

(Lifestyle and Leisure) see glitzy

flavour of the month noun phrase (Lifestyle and Leisure) The current fashion; something that (or someone who) is especially popular at a given time. Also with variations, such as flavour of the week, year, etc. Etymology: A figurative application of a phrase that began as a marketing ploy in US ice-cream parlours in the forties, when a particular ice-cream flavour would be singled out for the month or week for special promotion. History and Usage: Flavour of the month started to be used figuratively in the news media in the late seventies, and for a while in the early eighties the phrase itself appeared to be flavour of the month with journalists. There is often a note of cynicism in its use, implying that the thing or person described as flavour of the month is but a passing fashion or whim that will soon be replaced by the next one. It is also sometimes applied to something which is not really subject to fashions, but is especially common or widely reported at a given time. In many ways the question of authority in the Church is the theological flavour of the year in Anglican circles. Church Times 15 May 1987, p. 7 Readership surveys were flavour of the month in that sector so he wanted one. Media Week 2 Sept. 1988, p. 14

Currently the England dressing room resembles a MASH unit, with finger and hand injuries the flavour of the month. Guardian 2 Apr. 1990, p. 15 fly-tipping noun Also written fly tipping or flytipping (Environment) In the UK: unauthorized dumping of rubbish on the streets or on unoccupied ground. Etymology: Formed by compounding. The fly- part is probably ultimately derived from the verb to fly (the culprits tip and fly); it is the equivalent of fly-posting (a term which dates back to the early years of this century) except that it involves dumping rubbish rather than putting up posters. Since the thirties, street salesmen have called their unlicensed pitches fly-pitches, but this name is probably derived from the adjective fly, 'clever'. History and Usage: The term fly-tipping has been used in technical sources to do with waste disposal since at least the late sixties. A topical problem in the Britain of the eighties, fly-tipping was the subject of tighter legislation in 1989 to try to tidy up city streets and give the UK a greener image. The term fly-tipping has also been applied to the dumping of toxic waste in other countries. Fly-tip has been back-formed as the verb corresponding to the noun fly-tipping; individuals or bodies who do it are fly-tippers. The LIFT...Report divides the people who fly tip into four categories: the 'organised criminal', the 'commercial', the 'domestic' and the 'traveller'. The organised criminal fly tipper operates to make money through illegal deposition of wastes. Managing Waste (Report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 1985), p. 71 The Control Of Pollution (Amendment) Bill, to tighten up the law against fly-tippers and stop illegal dumping of builders' rubble, was given an unopposed third reading

in the Lords. The Times 5 July 1989, p. 13 There was the visible evidence of fly-tipping. A mound of rubbish all but obscured an electrical sub-station on which two local hospitals depended. Independent 23 Aug. 1988, p. 17 6.7 fontware...

fontware (Science and Technology) see -ware food additive (Environment) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see additive foodie

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society)

In colloquial use, a person whose hobby or main interest is food; a gourmet. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ie (as in groupie, etc.) to food; one of a succession of such formations during the eighties for people who are fans of, or heavily 'into', a particular thing or activity. History and Usage: Although gourmets have been around for a long time, the foodie is an invention of the early eighties, encouraged by the food and wine pages of the colour supplements and the growth of a magazine industry for which food is a central interest. The foodie is interested not just in eating good food, but in preparing it, reading about it, and talking about it as well, especially if the food in question is a new 'eating experience'. An Official Foodie Handbook was published in 1984. He told me about the foodie who sat next to him in a Chinese restaurant and went into transports of enthusiastic analysis about the way in which the chicken had been cooked.

Listener 27 Sept. 1984, p. 19 The oriental chopper...--a perfect gift for your favourite foodie, particularly if that happens to be you. Good Food Jan./Feb. 1990, p. 11 food irradiation (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see irradiation footprint noun (Science and Technology) In computing jargon, the surface area taken up by a computer on a desk or other surface. Etymology: A figurative use of footprint; the latest in a succession of technical uses employing this metaphor. In the mid sixties, footprint had been proposed as the name for the landing area of a spacecraft; from the early seventies onwards it was used for the ground area affected by noise, pressure, etc. from a vehicle or aircraft (an aeroplane's noise footprint is the restricted area on the ground below in which noise exceeds a specified level, and the footprint of a tyre is the area of contact between it and the ground); it is also used for the area within which a satellite signal can be received. History and Usage: Interest in the footprint of computer hardware began in the early eighties, with the widespread sale and use of PCs and other microcomputers which had to compete for space on people's desks with books, papers, and simply room in which to work. A small footprint soon became a selling-point for a microcomputer. In the era of hacking (see hack), there is some evidence that footprint also came to be used figuratively in computing to mean a visible sign left in a file to show that it had been hacked into (the machine-readable equivalent of 'I woz 'ere'). With features like a...memory mapper and a footprint of only 12.6 inches by 15.7 inches, it's a difficult micro to fault. advertisement in Mail on Sunday 9 Aug. 1987, p. 39

Footsie acronym Also written footsie or FT-SE (Business World) In the colloquial language of the Stock Exchange, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 share index, an index based on the share values of Britain's one hundred largest public companies. Also known more fully as the Footsie index. Etymology: A respelling of FT-SE (itself the initial letters of Financial Times-Stock Exchange), intended to represent the sounds produced when you try to pronounce the initials as a word. History and Usage: The FT-SE index was set up in January 1984 and almost immediately came to be known affectionately as Footsie, perhaps because FT-SE is such a mouthful. Within a few months, traded options and futures which were linked to the index became available and these were described as Footsie options etc. (even without a capital initial) almost as though Footsie were an adjective. Footsie is used with or without the to refer to the index; the 100 part of the index's name sometimes follows Footsie, especially when the official form, FT-SE 100 index, is used. The FT-SE 100 (Footsie) Index has already fallen from a peak 1717 early in April to 1565, but if you think calamity lies ahead, it is not too late to buy Footsie Put Options. Daily Mail 17 May 1986, p. 30 With Congress and Administration still deadlocked over the US Budget, the most anodyne political remark is quite capable of shifting Footsie 50 points. Investors Chronicle 20 Nov. 1987, p. 29 forty-three (People and Society) see Rule 43 6.8 F-plan


(Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see fibre

6.9 free...


combining form (Environment) (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) As the second element in a hyphenated adjective: not containing or involving the (usually undesirable) ingredient, factor, etc. named in the word before the hyphen. Etymology: A largely contextual development in the use of what is an ancient combining form in English: originally it meant 'exempt from the tax or charge named before the hyphen' (as in tax-free, toll-free, etc.) and this developed through the figurative sense 'not hampered by the trouble etc. named in the first word' (as in carefree and trouble-free) to the present use, in which ingredients or processes, often ones formerly thought desirable in the production of something, have been found to be unwanted by some section of the public, and the product is therefore advertised as being free from them. History and Usage: The sense of -free defined here has become particularly fashionable since the late seventies, especially through its use by advertisers (who possibly see it as a positive alternative--with connotations of liberation and cleanness-- to the rather negative suffix -less). The uses fall into a number of different groups, including those to do with special diets (alcohol-free, cholesterol-free, corn-free, dairy-free (an odd term out with animal-free in naming the generic source rather than the substance as the first word), gluten-free, meat-free, milk-free, sugar-free, wheat-free, and many others), those to do with pollutants or additives (additive-free (see additive), Alar-free (see Alar), CFC-free (see CFC), e-free (see E number), lead-free, etc.), those in which an undesirable process or activity is named first (cruelty-free, nuclear-free), and those with the name of an illness or infection as the first element (BSE-free, salmonella-free). Occasionally advertisers omit the hyphen, with unintentional comical effect: during the scare about salmonella in eggs in the UK in 1989, for example, some shops displayed posters advertising 'Fresh farm eggs--salmonella free'.

The Saudis have oil, which the world wants. Now C. Schmidt & Sons, a Philadelphia brewery, has something the Saudis want--alcohol-free beer. Washington Post 23 June 1979, section D, p. 9 Special dishes which are gluten-free, dairy-free and meat-free. Hampstead & Highgate Express 7 Feb. 1986, p. 90 These contain a complex of high potency, dairy-free lactobacilli, good bacteria that help the body to maintain a positive balance. Health Shopper Jan./Feb. 1990, p. 4 The advice of the National Eczema Society is to use either liquids (none of which contains bleaches) or enzyme-free 'non-biological' detergents. Which? Apr. 1990, p. 190 We all feel virtuous because we have gone lead-free; but this is a separate issue from the greenhouse effect. Good Housekeeping May 1990, p. 17 They say they can deliver BSE-free embryos, but no one can guarantee that. Independent on Sunday 29 July 1990, Sunday Review section, p. 13 freebase noun and verb Also written free base or free-base (Drugs) noun: A purified form of cocaine made by heating it with ether, and taken (illegally) by inhaling the fumes or smoking the residue. intransitive or transitive verb: To make a freebase of cocaine or smoke it as a drug; to smoke (freebase). Also as a verbal

noun freebasing; agent noun freebaser. Etymology: Formed by compounding; the base, or most important ingredient in cocaine, is freed by the process of heating. History and Usage: The term has been in use in the drugs subculture since the seventies (there are reports of people who claim to have been using freebase since 1978, for example), but it was not taken up by the media until 1980, when American comedian Richard Pryor was badly burned while freebasing. It then became clear that freebase was a favourite form of cocaine among the Hollywood set, since smoking it was more congenial than 'snorting' cocaine. The cheaper crystalline cocaine, crack, was at first also known as freebase. The noun and verb appeared simultaneously in printed sources, but it is likely that the noun preceded the verb in colloquial use. A police lieutenant said Mr. Pryor had told a doctor the accident happened while he was trying to make 'free base', a cocaine derivative produced with the help of ether. New York Times 15 June 1980, p. 15 She recalled that her seven-year-old daughter used to follow her around the house with a deodorant spray because she could not stand the smell of freebasing. Daily Telegraph 30 June 1981, p. 15 A society drugs scandal is introduced as the freebasers start brewing up in their alembics. Times Literary Supplement 14 Aug. 1987, p. 872 free from artificial additives (Environment) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see additive free radical noun (Health and Fitness) An atom or group of atoms in which there is one or more unpaired electrons; an unstable element in the human body which, it is

thought, can be overproduced as a result of chemical pollution and may then cause cell damage. Etymology: Formed by compounding; free in its chemical sense means 'uncombined' and radical denotes an atom which would normally form part of a compound. History and Usage: As a chemical term, free radical has existed since the beginning of this century. What has brought it into the public eye in the past few years is the interest shown by the alternative health movement and environmentalists in free radicals as the apparent link between pollution and late twentieth-century health problems such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Vincent Lord knew that many drugs, when in action in the human body and as part of their metabolism, generated 'free radicals'. Arthur Hailey Strong Medicine (1984), p. 159 Increasingly essential are the anti-oxidants--vitamins A, C, E and the mineral selenium, which bolster the body's natural defence against disruptive free radicals. Generated in the body as a result of radiation, chemical pollutants, medicinal drugs and stress, free radicals can damage cells and tissues bringing about premature ageing. Harpers & Queen Apr. 1990, p. 143 freestyle BMX (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) see BMX freeware (Science and Technology) see -ware freeze-frame noun and verb Also written freeze frame (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) noun: A still picture forming part of a motion sequence; a facility on video recorders allowing one to stop the action and view the picture currently on the screen as a still.

intransitive or transitive verb: To use the freeze-frame facility; to pause (action or a picture) in this way. Etymology: Formed by compounding; freeze-frame is effectively a contraction of the technical phrase freeze the frame as used in cinematography. History and Usage: Freeze-frame was first used as a noun in cinematography in the early sixties; at that time, before the advent of home videos, the effect was achieved by printing the same frame repeatedly rather than actually stopping on a particular frame, and was also known simply as a freeze. The word freeze-frame became popularized in the early eighties by the appearance on the general market of video recorders which had the facility; most manufacturers chose to label the control freeze-frame, and so it was a natural step to the development of a verb in this form to replace the more cumbersome phrase freeze the frame. You can freeze-frame sequences for close analysis. Listener 12 May 1983, p. 2 Don't use 'freeze frame'...for longer than necessary--it increases tape and head wear. Which? June 1984, p. 250 fresh

adjective (Youth Culture) In young people's slang (especially in the US): def, 'hip', 'cool', new and exciting. Etymology: A sense shift which is perhaps influenced by the pun with cool; as a word of approbation in young people's slang it has its roots in rap talk and ultimately in the street language of hip hop. History and Usage: This is a usage which only began to appear in print in the second half of the eighties, as part of the crop of new slang expressions popularized by the spread of hip-hop culture. A number of rappers used the word in their pseudonyms,

and a US sitcom which was centred on hip hop and shown on UK television as well had as its title The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Run DMC, the rap group, told it to the audience straighter than most. The other groups at the Fresh Festival, a compendium of rappers and break dancers, had visited Hollywood. Chicago Tribune 7 July 1985 (Final edition), section 3, p. 5 According to Freddy, street talkers and rappers long ago abandoned bad for such alternatives as fresh, def and chillin'. Los Angeles Times 29 Aug. 1988, section 6, p. 2 friendly adjective (War and Weaponry) Of troops, equipment, etc.: belonging to one's own side in a conflict; in specific phrases (such as friendly fire, friendly bombing, etc.): coming from one's own side; especially, causing accidental damage to one's own personnel or equipment. Etymology: A specialized and slightly elliptical use of the adjective friendly in the sense 'not hostile'. History and Usage: This sense of friendly has been in use in military jargon since at least the Second World War (and may go back even further as a noun meaning 'a member of one's own or one's allies' forces'); in the earlier uses, though, friendly tended to be followed by aircraft, ships, etc. The euphemistic phrase friendly fire had been used in the Vietnam War (it was chosen in the seventies as the title of a book and film about the parents of a soldier killed by his own side in Vietnam), but was brought to prominence in the Gulf War of 1991, when the majority of fatal casualties among allied troops were attributed to it. 'There will be other occurrences of some of our troops potentially being a victim of "friendly fire"', Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Robert B. Johnston, the Central Command's chief of staff, told reporters on Feb. 2.

National Journal 9 Feb. 1991, p. 335 Since the war began, more American troops are thought to have been killed by 'friendly fire' than by the Iraqis, most by air-launched missiles. Independent 22 Feb. 1991, p. 3 -friendly combining form (Environment) (Science and Technology) As the second word in a hyphenated adjective: either adapted, designed, or made suitable for the person or thing named in the first word or safe for, not harmful to what is named before the hyphen. Hence as a free-standing adjective (often qualified by an adverb): accessible or harmless, non-polluting. Etymology: Formed on the adjective friendly, after the model of user-friendly in computing. History and Usage: One of the most popular ways of forming a new adjective in the late eighties, especially in consumer advertising and writing on environmental issues, -friendly has its roots in the extremely successful late-seventies coinage user-friendly (the history of which is described under that heading). By the early eighties the computing metaphor was being extended to users of other types of product, sometimes simply as an extension of user-friendly itself, but sometimes substituting a new first word (reader-friendly, listener-friendly, etc.); the gobbledygook of legal drafting was replaced in some legislation by clear, understandable language and this was described as citizen-friendly. It was also in the early eighties that the second branch of meaning started to develop, with the appearance on the scene of environment-friendly (causing little harm to the environment, ecologically sound); this also gave rise to a stream of imitative formations, notably ozone-friendly (see ozone), Earth-friendly, eco-friendly (see eco-), and planet-friendly. In the second half of the eighties both branches of meaning grew steadily and became somewhat confused, as new formations arose which did not follow the original pattern. In the sense to do with accessibility and ease of use, for example, the term computer-friendly (used of a person, a synonym for computerate or computent (see the entry for

computerate) with a nuance of willingness as well as ability to use computers) seemed to turn the tables: the person was now friendly to the computer, rather than the other way round. On the environmental side there were formations like greenhouse-friendly, in which the basic meaning 'not harmful to' had been extended into 'not contributing to the harmful effects of' in a potentially confusing way. The fashion for formations in -friendly has also led to the use of hyphenated adjectives in which the -friendly part means no more than 'friendly' in its usual sense (see the example for Thatcher-friendly in the quotations). There were also grammatical confusions when -friendly started to be used as a free-standing adjective. From the late seventies, friendly was used as a free-standing word in computing as a synonym for user-friendly. As -friendly became more and more popular, some sources started to print the compounds with no hyphen between the two words; what is essentially an abbreviated dative phrase 'friendly to...' was then interpreted as an adjective qualified by a noun, and this was 'corrected' to an adverb, giving forms such as environmentally friendly (see environmentally). There were even some examples in which two adjectives were used together, in environmental friendly etc. (presumably transferring the adjective from environmental friendliness). Friendliness, with a preceding noun, and with or without a hyphen, can be used to form noun counterparts for most of these adjectives, but environmental friendliness co-exists with environment-friendliness. Companies' requirements for computer-friendly personnel fluctuate dramatically. The Times 3 Mar. 1987, p. 21 Non-food products such as 'environment-friendly' detergents...may not be as widely available. Which? Jan. 1989, p. 27 Listener-friendly tunes...take him close to Michael Jackson in tone and delivery. Guitar Player Mar. 1989, p. 12

Mitsubishi mixes high performance and environmental friendliness in its new Starion 2.6-litre turbo coup‚. Financial Times 4 Mar. 1989, Weekend FT, p. xxiv Young people are displaying a lot of behaviour and some attitudes which are Thatcher-friendly. Listener 4 May 1989, p. 4 It argued that nuclear power had a role to play in a 'greenhouse friendly' electricity supply industry but that this role should not be exaggerated. Financial Times 18 July 1989, p. 18 Nearly 4,000 products are being analysed according to user- and environment-friendliness in a study sponsored by property developers Rosehaugh. Sunday Telegraph 13 Aug. 1989, p. 2 On the grocery shelves, garbage and trash bags of all sizes, once the scourge of the environment, now come with planet-friendly certification. Los Angeles Times 4 Feb. 1990, section E, p. 1 Another well-advanced initiative...involves the production of a sterilized sewage and straw compost, a process which disposes of two major pollutants at once, turning them into earth-friendly products which are good growing materials. The Times 24 Mar. 1990, p. 45 fromage frais noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A smooth white curd cheese or quark, originally from France; now also any of a number of low-fat dairy desserts based on curd cheese with fruit, sugar, etc. added.

Etymology: Borrowed from French; literally 'fresh cheese'. This kind of cheese is normally known as petit suisse in France, however. History and Usage: Fromage frais is a product which was introduced to British supermarkets in the early eighties and to American ones a few years later as a way of extending the dairy dessert market in which yogurts were becoming very popular. Fromage frais has proved extremely successful as the basis for a whole range of desserts. Tell us the fat content of Sainsbury's virtually fat-free fromage frais and you might win a white porcelain gratin dish. Good Housekeeping May 1990, p. 42 Remove and discard pods, herbs, carrot and celery. Process until smooth with the yogurt or fromage frais, adding a little extra water or skimmed milk to desired consistency. She Aug. 1990, p. 128 front-ending noun (Science and Technology) In media jargon, direct input of newspaper text by journalists at their own terminals, cutting out the traditional typesetting stage. Etymology: Formed by adding the action or process suffix -ing to front end (the part of a computer system that a user deals with directly, especially a terminal that routes input to a central computer); the term front end is used attributively (in front-end system etc.), for the 'new technology' which allowed journalists to set their own copy. History and Usage: Computer scientists used the term front-ending from the early seventies to refer to ways of using mini- and microcomputers in networks attached to a single central computer. In the context of newspaper production, the

term came into the news in the mid eighties, when the introduction of the system in the UK (especially by the News International group producing The Times, The Sunday Times, Sun, and News of the World) gave rise to mass picketing by print union representatives who were angry about their members' loss of jobs in typesetting. I intend to negotiate the introduction of front-ending and...a modern web-offset printing plant. The Times 10 July 1986, p. 21 6.10 fudge and mudge...

fudge and mudge verbal phrase (Politics) As a political catch-phrase: to evade comment or avoid making a decision on an issue by waffling; to apply facile, ill-conceived solutions to problems while trying to appear resolved. Etymology: The verb fudge has been used since the seventeenth century in the sense 'to patch up, to make (something) look legitimate or properly done when in fact it is dishonestly touched up'; mudge here is probably chosen for its rhyme with fudge and influenced by smudge or muddle, although it might be taken from hudge-mudge, a Scottish form of hugger-mugger, a noun meaning 'disorder, confusion' but also used as an adjective in the sense 'makeshift'. History and Usage: The catch-phrase was coined by the British politician David Owen in a speech to his supporters at the Labour Party conference in 1980. In a direct attack on the leadership of James Callaghan, he said: We are fed up with fudging and mudging, with mush and slush. We need courage, conviction, and hard work. Since then it has been used in a number of political contexts, both as a verbal phrase and as a noun phrase for the policy or practice of fudging and mudging.

A short term victory must poison the atmosphere in which much-needed, long-term reforms of pay bargaining are examined. There are occasions on which it is right to fudge and mudge at the margins. Guardian Weekly 14 June 1981, p. 10 Since the Prime Minister has a well-known abhorrence for fudge and mudge, it must be assumed that she agreed to this next step [in joining the European Monetary System] because she intended to take it. Guardian 28 July 1989, p. 22 full-blown Aids (Health and Fitness) see Aids functional food noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A foodstuff which contains additives specifically designed to promote health and longevity. Sometimes abbreviated to FF. Etymology: A translation of Japanese kinoseishokuhin. History and Usage: Functional foods were originally a Japanese idea and by 1990 had an eight per cent share of the Japanese food market. They cleverly turn round the negative connotations of food additives by fortifying foods with enzymes to aid digestion, anti-cholesterol agents, added fibre, etc. and by marketing the foods as beneficial to health--much the same idea as the familiar breakfast cereals fortified with vitamins and iron, but taken a stage further. Functional foods have yet to be tested on Western markets. Unless food manufacturers outside Japan wake up to the market potential of functional foods, a new Japanese invasion of protein-enhanced Yorkshire pudding, high-fibre spotted dick and vitamin-boosted toad-in-the-hole is likely...Mr Potter, a food scientist and technologist, explained: 'FF ingredients are products known to have positive health benefits like lowering cholesterol levels, lowering blood sugar,

preventing calcium loss from the bone, lowering incidences of heart disease.' Independent 28 Apr. 1990, p. 3 fundie noun Also written fundy or (in discussions of German Green Party politics) Fundi (Environment) (Politics) In colloquial use: a fundamentalist; especially either a religious fundamentalist or a member of a radical branch of the green movement, a 'deep' green. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ie to the first four letters of fundamentalist; the spelling Fundi reflects borrowing from the German slang name of the radical wing of the German Green Party. History and Usage: A nickname which belongs to the political debates of the early eighties, when the Moral Majority and other fundamentalist Christian groups in the US and the Greens in Germany became a political force to be reckoned with. In the green sense, fundie has its origins in the arguments from 1985 onwards between the German Greens' realo wing, who were prepared to take a normal co-operative approach to parliamentary life, and the more radical fundamentalists, who did not wish to co-operate with other parties and favoured extreme measures to solve environmental problems. The Fundies are not a serious political force and their current hero is not a serious political candidate. New York Times 7 Mar. 1988, section A, p. 19 The fundies are the purists who believe the only way to save the Earth is to dismantle industry. Daily Telegraph 20 Sept. 1989, p. 15 funk

noun (Music) (Youth Culture) In recent use in popular music, a style that draws upon Black cultural roots and includes bluesy or soulful elements, especially syncopated rhythms and chord progressions including

sevenths and ninths; often as the second word in combinations (see below). Etymology: In US English the word funk originally meant 'a bad smell' but a new sense was back-formed from the slang adjective funky in the fifties to refer to the fashion then for down-to-earth bluesy music; funky also meant 'swinging' or 'fashionable'. (There is no connection with the British English word funk meaning 'a state of fear'.) In the latest development of its meaning, Funk has been extended outside the styles traditionally thought of as funky, tending to become a catch-all tag for whatever is fashionable in a particular area of popular music. History and Usage: As mentioned above, funk has existed since the fifties, but has acquired a broader meaning recently. The first crossovers between funk and other styles came in the seventies with disco-funk, a funky (that is, fast and rootsy) style of disco music. This was followed in the eighties by electrofunk (see electro), jazz-funk (which, it has more than once been claimed, is neither jazz nor funk), p-funk (a style developed by George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic), slack-funk, slow-funk, and techno-funk (see techno), to name only a few of the styles which claimed to include funk elements. A leading and influential practitioner of funk proper is James Brown. Often the funk tag signifies no more than an attempt to incorporate Black musical traditions and jagged rhythms, funky chord progressions, or soulful lyrics into the White music style: funk has been widely played by White musicians since the mid seventies. Derivatives formed on funk have also been common in the eighties: funker and funkster extended their meaning to cover the broader sense of funk, and there were other, one-off formations along the lines of funkadelic (originally a proper name but also adopted as a common noun or adjective), funkateer, funkathon, and funketize. We scored No 1 disco albums with legendary jazz-funk duo Morrissey Mullen. Music Week 2 Feb. 1985, Advertisement pullout, p. i If old bubblegum music is on I sing at the top of my lungs, and if new funkadelic is on I bop in my seat.

New York Times 14 May 1986, section C, p. 1 If you've never fancied this kind of frantic funk try this for size. Blackman's wild and witty lyrical style combines macho street level cliche with sharp social awareness. Hi-Fi Answers Dec. 1986, p. 78 These 10 songs demonstrate that all it takes is a good kick in the pants, a bottleneck slide guitar, and a feel for Muscle Shoals slow-funk to make a boy want to whoop and holler all night long. Dirty Linen Spring 1989, p. 56 The second track on the album, 'Have a Talk with God' is a simple message to people with problems...backed with a slack-funk beat. Shades No. 1 1990, p. 19 fun run noun (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) An organized long-distance run in which amateur athletes take part for fun or to raise money for charity rather than competitively. Etymology: A transparent compound of fun and run, exploiting the rhyme. History and Usage: The first fun runs took place in the US in the mid seventies as a way of bringing together people who had taken up jogging or long-distance running recreationally. The idea was introduced into the UK in the late seventies, and by the mid eighties the fun run was an established part of many Western countries' culture, with large races such as the annual London Marathon attracting thousands of participants. Often the fun runners, who are only competing for the enjoyment of running or so as to raise money for charity from sponsors, run alongside serious international athletes in the same race.

Thousands of fun runners and disabled competitors pounded the same rain-soaked course as the stars. New York Times 21 Apr. 1986, section C, p. 6 A fun run over 8km was held at the Phobians Athletics Club. South African Panorama Jan. 1988, p. 50 Before the main race, limited to 150 runners, there will also be a charity one-mile Family Fun Run. Northern Runner Apr./May 1988, p. 6 futon

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A low-slung Japanese-style bed or mattress. Etymology: A direct borrowing from Japanese, in which it traditionally refers to a bed-quilt or thin cotton mattress which is laid on a mat on the floor overnight, and may be rolled up and put away during the day. History and Usage: The word has been used in descriptions of Japanese culture since the end of the last century, but the present Western application dates from the early 1980s. The futon as marketed in the West may include a slatted wooden base which stands only a few inches from the floor, is often capable of conversion into a sofa for day-time use, and usually includes a stuffed cotton mattress similar to the Japanese version. They fall onto the stripped-pine futon. Artseen Dec. 1986, p. 19 Slatted bases are often used in traditional bedstead designs and low line beds such as futons. Daily Mail DIY Home Interiors 1988, p. 112

fuzzword noun

A deliberately confusing, euphemistic, or imprecise piece of jargon, used more to impress than to inform. Etymology: Formed by compounding and abbreviation: a word that is fuzzy in its twentieth-century sense 'imprecisely defined, confused, vague'. It is also a deliberate alteration of buzzword (a fashionable but often meaningless piece of jargon, a vogue word), which has been in use since the late sixties. History and Usage: Fuzzword was coined by the Washington Post in 1983 and is still principally a US usage. In the often emotional arms control debate, there may be no more common fuzzword than 'verification'. National Journal 14 Apr. 1984, p. 730 7.0 G

7.1 gag me with a spoon...

gag me with a spoon (Youth Culture) see Valspeak Gaia

noun (Environment) The Earth viewed as a vast self-regulating organism, in which the whole range of living matter defines the conditions for its own survival, modifying the physical environment to suit its needs. Used especially in Gaia hypothesis or Gaia theory, the theory that this is how the global ecosystem functions. Etymology: Named after Gaia, the Earth goddess in Greek mythology (the daughter of Chaos). History and Usage: The term was coined by the British scientist James Lovelock, who first put forward the hypothesis at a scientific meeting about the origins of life on Earth in 1969; the suggestion that it should be named after the goddess Gaia had come from William Golding. Although not especially well

received by the scientific community, the theory reached a wider audience in the eighties and early nineties and proved very attractive both to environmentalists and to the New Age movement, with its emphasis on holistic concepts and an Earth Mother. Gaia is used as a proper name for the hypothetical organism itself, and also as a shorthand way of referring to the Gaia hypothesis. Gaian (as an adjective and noun) and Gaiaist (as an adjective) have been derived from it. 'The Biosphere Catalogue' expresses a kind of spirituality in science, a metaphysical belief in the biosphere as an entity which has been dubbed 'Gaia', as if to acknowledge its divine qualities. Los Angeles Times 15 Dec. 1985, p. 12 Gaians (to use an abbreviation popular at the meeting) argue that this state of affairs is indeed evidence of the interconnectedness of life on Earth, and that it would be foolish to expect to find a series of isolated and independent mechanisms. Nature 7 Apr. 1988, p. 483 Will tomorrow bring hordes of militant Gaiaist activists enforcing some pseudoscientific idiocy on the community? New Scientist 7 Apr. 1988, p. 60 It is at the core of the current debate over the 'Gaia hypothesis', which holds that the planet is one huge organism in which everything interacts to sustain and maintain life on Earth. Christian Science Monitor 30 Jan. 1990, p. 12 Understanding Gaia means understanding that the survival of the plants, trees and wildlife which live on this planet with us is crucial to our own survival. Debbie Silver & Bernadette Vallely The Young Person's Guide to Saving the Planet (1990), p. 52

galleria noun (Business World) (Lifestyle and Leisure) In marketing and planning jargon, a collection of small shops under a single roof, either in an arcade or as concessions in a large store. Etymology: A direct borrowing from Italian galleria 'arcade'. History and Usage: Architects in English-speaking countries were first inspired by the idea of the Italian galleria in the sixties and began to design shopping arcades on the same model, but it was not until the early eighties that the word galleria suddenly came into vogue as a fashionable way of saying 'arcade'. The vogue was continued by the application of the term to shops-within-a-shop as well. Burton and Habitat intend to create a new format at Debenhams with the 'Galleria concept'--an integrated collection of highly-focused speciality stores under one roof. Yorkshire Post 23 May 1985, p. 4 The winning scheme...incorporated the inevitable 'galleria'. The Times 17 Feb. 1990, p. 10 Johnson took over eleven floors in an unremarkable glass tower at a suburban shopping center named The Galleria. Bryan Burrough & John Helyar Barbarians at the Gate (1990), p. 85 gamete intra-fallopian transfer (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) see GIFT gaming garage

(Lifestyle and Leisure) see role-playing game noun Also written Garage (Music) (Youth Culture)

A variety of house music from New York which incorporates elements of soul music, especially in its vocals.

Etymology: Probably named after the Paradise Garage, the former nightclub in New York where this style of music was first played; there may also be some influence from the term garage band, which has been applied since the late sixties to groups (originally amateurs who practised in empty garages and other disused buildings) with a loud, energetic, and unpolished sound which is also sometimes known as garage or garage punk. History and Usage: New York garage developed in the early eighties (principally at the Paradise Garage but later also at other New York clubs), but only came to be called garage--or by the fuller name garage house--in the second half of the decade. The founding influence on the style was the New York group The Peech Boys. In its later manifestations garage is very closely related to deep house (see house)--indeed some consider deep house to be simply the Chicago version of garage, incorporating the lyrical and vocal traditions of American soul into the fast, synthesized dance music which is typical of house. The void left in trendier clubs following the over-commercialisation and subsequent ridiculing of 'acieed!' being filled by 'garage' and 'deep house'. Music Week 10 Dec. 1988, p. 14 The records will be anything dance-orientated: 'Rap, reggae, hip hop, house, jazz, garage or soul,' says Anita Mackie...'What is garage?' I ask. She consults a colleague and they decide on 'Soulful house'. I decline to ask them what 'house' is. The Times 25 July 1990, p. 17 garbage in, garbage out (Science and Technology) see expert system gas-permeable (Health and Fitness) see lens -gate

combining form (Politics)

Part of the name Watergate, widely used in compounds to form names for actual or alleged scandals (usually also involving an attempted cover-up), comparable in some way to the Watergate scandal of 1972. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating Watergate, treating the -gate part as a word-forming element in its own right. History and Usage: Before the Watergate scandal and the ensuing hearings were even fully over, journalists began to use -gate allusively to form names for other (major or minor) scandals, turning it into one of the most productive word-final combining forms of the seventies and eighties. In August 1973, for example, the US satirical paper National Lampoon wrote of persistent rumours in Russia of a vast scandal, and nicknamed this Volgagate; in 1975 the financial paper Wall Street Journal called a fraud inquiry at General Motors Motorgate, and in 1978 Time magazine wrote of an Oilgate concerning British North Sea oil. The suffix was used in a variety of ways: tacked on to the name of the place where the scandal occurred (as in the original Watergate), to the name of the person or organization at the centre of the scandal (for example Billygate or Cartergate for the scandal over the Libyan connections of Billy Carter, brother of US President Jimmy Carter, in 1980), or to the commodity or activity involved (for example Altergate for allegations that transcripts of official hearings in the US had been altered in 1983). It was principally a feature of US English until 1978, when the South African Muldergate scandal brought it wider publicity. Perhaps surprisingly, the productivity of -gate did not really wane in the eighties: in the US it was kept in the public eye principally because of the Iran-contra affair of 1986 (see contra), immediately nicknamed Contragate or Irangate (and still sometimes referred to by these names into the nineties) and by scandals over frauds allegedly perpetrated by televangelists, including the punningly named Pearlygate; in the UK there was Westlandgate in 1985 (involving Cabinet members in conflict over plans to bail out the helicopter company Westland), Stalkergate in 1986 (named after the Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester police, John Stalker, who was invited to chair an inquiry into allegations of an RUC 'shoot-to-kill' policy in Northern Ireland and was then removed from this inquiry for

several months while allegations of his own improper association with a known criminal were considered and rejected), and Lawsongate in 1988, involving allegations that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, had deliberately deceived the public about the economy, to mention but a few. It suits the White House to flatter Mrs Thatcher's diplomatic pretensions, just as it suits it to deflate those of the Labour leader, Mr Neil Kinnock. But it is a long way from 'Kinnockgate' for the good reason that the Americans are barely aware of the 'Neil-snubs-Ron-snubs-Maggie-snubs-Neil' row they are embroiled in. Guardian 30 Mar. 1984, p. 6 The current deterioration of the Ulster environment will continue unabated...if future developments significantly touch the RUC ('Stalkergate') or the judiciary. Marxism Today Sept. 1986, p. 41 Europeans...are not going to stomach the star-spangled strain of bible-thumping religiosity peddled by smooth-talking American preachers like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Jim Bakker (he of the 'Pearlygate' sex and corruption scandal). Observer Magazine 22 Nov. 1987, p. 50 From the 'Lawsongate' headline...through to the...allegation of a 'cover-up'...newspapers were unanimous in their belief that it was Nigel Lawson who had misled people. Independent 14 Nov. 1988, p. 2 In those days...the Higher Skepticism had not yet appeared, fueled by the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King and the others and by the Vietnam war and by Watergate...and by Irangate, etc. Paul Fussell Wartime (1989), p. 167

Blue Heat promisingly pits Brian Dennehy's blue-collar cop against Contragate corruption in high places. The Face Oct. 1990, p. 21 gay plague, gay-related immune disease (Health and Fitness) see Aids gazunder transitive or intransitive verb (Lifestyle and Leisure) In UK slang, of a house buyer: to reduce the price offered to (the seller of a property) at a late stage in the proceedings, usually immediately before contracts are due to be exchanged; to behave in this way over a house purchase. Also as an action noun gazundering; agent noun gazunderer. Etymology: Formed by altering the word gazump 'to swindle, especially in the sale of a house, by raising the asking price'; in the case of gazunder, the tables are turned so that it is the buyer rather than the seller who is in a position to do the swindling. Since the buyer comes in with a price under the one previously offered, the word under replaces the -ump part of gazump. History and Usage: It was the slowing down and eventual fall of house prices in the UK in the late eighties, after the boom of the rest of the decade, that turned the housing market into a buyers' market in which the phenomenon of gazundering could arise. No doubt the practice existed without a name for a time; the first mentions of gazunder, gazunderers, and gazundering in the press, though, date from late 1988, cropping up first in the tabloid press and later in the 'quality' papers as well. The gazunderer goes along with the asking price until days or even hours before contracts are due to be exchanged. Then he threatens to withdraw. Daily Mirror 18 Nov. 1988, p. 4 Media executive Matthew Levin, 44, and his psychotherapist wife Vivienne have just been gazundered in Hampstead.

Daily Telegraph 6 Jan. 1989, p. 11 In the heat of the house-price boom I hummed and hawed about protests over gazumping, suggesting that many victims would 'gazunder' their way to a quick buck given half a chance. Weekend Guardian 13 Aug. 1989, p. 29 7.2 gel...


noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A jelly-like substance used for cosmetic preparations of various kinds, especially for setting hair and as a semi-liquid soap for use in showers. Etymology: A specialized application of gel in its established chemical sense 'a semi-solid colloidal system consisting of a solid dispersed in a liquid'. History and Usage: The first gel for setting and styling hair was developed for salon use as long ago as the late fifties in the US, but this was a setting gel applied before rolling and setting the hair in the traditional way. The gel only really came into its own as a product on general sale and in widespread use with the swept-up hair fashions of the punk era (from the late seventies onwards). These preparations could be applied to wet hair before blow-drying, used to 'glue' the hair in place while it dried naturally, or even to fix dry hair into a style. When used on dry hair it produced a glistening, still-wet look that duly resulted in a new hair fashion in the eighties. The gel form proved useful for other preparations, too--notably as a shower soap--because it does not run off the hand like a liquid or slip like bar soap. Nowadays people are using superglue, lacquer, gel, oils and even soap and water to make their hair stand up. Telegraph (Brisbane) 7 Oct. 1985, p. 8

A luxurious exfoliating gel has been launched by Christian Dior. Sunday Express Magazine 17 Sept. 1989, p. 3 Don't use harsh soaps and shower gels on winter skin--use a cleansing bar. Health Shopper Jan./Feb. 1990, p. 4 genco

noun (Business World) A power-generating company; especially, either of the two electricity-generating wholesalers set up to sell electricity in England and Wales. Etymology: Formed by combining the first syllable of generating with co (the abbreviated form of company), as in disco. History and Usage: The first gencos were set up in the US in the early eighties. The idea of splitting the electricity industry in the UK into generation and supply is a central tenet of the privatization strategy worked out by the government in the closing years of the eighties; the two English gencos, National Power and Powergen, are meant to introduce competition into power generation and were privatized in 1991. If regulators approve the move, the utility would be the first to split into two independent electric-power subsidiaries: a wholesale power generating unit ('genco') that could sell any surplus power it produces to users outside its current turf, and a retail distribution unit ('disco') that would own the power lines and move the product. Financial World 5 Jan. 1988, p. 48

gene therapy noun (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) The technique or process of introducing normal genes into cells in place of defective or missing ones in order to correct genetic disorders.

Etymology: Formed by compounding: therapy which takes place at the level of the gene. History and Usage: Researchers in medical genetics have been working on the idea of gene therapy since the early seventies and during the eighties were approaching a point where their techniques could be applied to human subjects, although most sources spoke of gene therapy very much as a hope for the future rather than a practical reality. Since all forms of transgenic research and genetic engineering raise serious ethical issues which have had to be considered by the courts, gene therapy could not develop as fast as its inventors would like. Approval for the first real gene therapy on human subjects was given in the US in 1990. Researchers were predicting that common disorders of the red blood cells, such as thalassaemia, would be the first diseases cured by gene therapy. Listener 9 May 1985, p. 7 This sort of research, which critics describe as 'playing God', gets even more morally knotty when it comes to gene therapy, with its potential for monitoring and altering human genes to check for and eliminate hereditary diseases. The Face June 1990, p. 111 genetic engineering noun (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) The deliberate modification of a living thing by manipulation of its DNA. Etymology: A straightforward combination of genetic with engineering in its more general sense of 'the application of science to design etc.'. History and Usage: The techniques of genetic engineering were developed during the late sixties and seventies and contributed significantly to the boom in biotechnology during the eighties

when applied to industrial processes. There was concern about the possible ecological effects of releasing genetically engineered organisms (such as plants resistant to crop diseases, frost damage, etc.) into the environment, but this was allowed under licence in the UK from 1989 onwards. Applications of genetic engineering to human DNA have proved even more problematical because of the ethical implications of altering genetic make-up; in the UK, measures to control experiments involving genetic engineering on human tissue were added to the Health and Safety Act in 1989. We are in the process now of bioengineering the world's agroscape. This means moving around the players as well as making new ones through genetic engineering. Conservation Biology Dec. 1988, p. 309 Genetic engineering is often presented as producing unnatural hybrids which have no counterparts in the wild. It feeds on people's notions that there is a harmony or wisdom in nature with which we tamper at our peril, even though alongside that people want their videos and their modern medicines and all the other things that science brings by tampering with nature. Guardian 6 July 1989, p. 19 genetic fingerprinting noun (People and Society) (Science and Technology) The analysis of genetic information from a blood sample or other small piece of human material as an aid to the identification of a person. Etymology: Formed by combining genetic with fingerprinting in a figurative sense; the genetic fingerprint produced by this technique is as accurate in uniquely identifying a person as an actual fingerprint would be. History and Usage: Genetic fingerprinting was developed in the late seventies and early eighties and was first widely publicized in the mid eighties. The technique (also known as DNA fingerprinting) has a number of applications: it has

revolutionized forensic science in the eighties, for example. A sample of blood, semen, etc. or a few flakes of skin left at the scene of a crime can be analysed for the unique pattern of repeated DNA sequences that it displays (its genetic fingerprint) and this can be matched with blood samples taken from suspects. The first murder case to be decided on the basis of genetic fingerprinting was heard in 1987, but in 1989 a number of cases cast doubt on the reliability of forensic evidence based entirely on this kind of DNA testing. Another quite separate application of genetic fingerprinting is in the matching of blood samples in paternity suits or cases of 'disappeared' children (see desaparecido), since the genetic fingerprint can be used to establish whether two people could be related to one another. A slightly more refined process, known as genetic profiling, provides a genetic profile, or list of all of a person's genetic characteristics. Forensic scientists can also use genetic traits found in blood and other tissues to identify bodies. Sometimes known as genetic fingerprints, these include about 70 inherited enzymes that can be used in a form of extraordinarily detailed blood typing. New York Times 8 July 1985, section A, p. 3 Genetic profiles are much more sensitive than genetic fingerprints because they give accurate answers based on much smaller samples. Observer 26 Feb. 1989, p. 8 Now the baby has been born and blood tests and 'genetic fingerprinting' have proved conclusively that Howitt was not the father. Private Eye 1 Sept. 1989, p. 6 gentrification noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) The conversion of something with humble origins (especially a housing area) into something respectable or middle-class; taking up-market.

Etymology: Formed by adding the process suffix -ification to gentry; although in fact it is the professional middle class, rather than the gentry, who have taken over the working-class areas. History and Usage: Gentrification was first used by town planners in the early seventies to describe the migration of professional, middle-class people back into the inner cities; once there, they began renovating and altering to their own tastes what had been built as artisans' cottages and terraces for the workers originally brought to towns by the Industrial Revolution. As this process became more and more noticeable through the eighties and whole areas of large cities completely changed their character, gentrification moved out of the jargon of sociologists and planners and was widely used in the press, often with pejorative meaning. At this stage it also came to be applied to anything which could be moved up-market; in stock-market jargon, even to bonds. The associated verb is gentrify; the adjective to describe anything which has undergone this process is gentrified. Though the being gentrified, the pub itself has not gone posh. Sunday Times 30 Jan. 1983, p. 16 Further down, the first signs of gentrification appear--a renovated colonial house, a vegetarian health food store, and an upmarket boutique. This is...the vanguard of the yuppie invasion. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 6 July 1988, p. 9 His uncle's place had been gentrified on the outside, presumably to placate the new yuppie neighbors. Alice Walker Temple of My Familiar (1989), p. 29 7.3 ghetto blaster

ghetto blaster

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Music) In slang, a large, portable stereo radio (sometimes incorporating a cassette player), especially one on which popular music is played loudly in the street. (Considered by some to be racially offensive.) Etymology: Formed by compounding. The music supposedly blasts the neighbourhood with its exaggerated volume; this is associated mostly with Black and ethnic-minority areas, which explains the reference to the ghetto. History and Usage: The term originated in the US in about 1980, and was perhaps the most graphic of all the slang names for these outsize portable stereos which, it seems, can only be played at full volume. Other names for the same thing included (in the US) beat box, boom box, and the mixed ghetto box; minority briefcase and (in the UK) Brixton briefcase alluded to their having become part of the expected street uniform of hip hop and its followers. Despite its rather racialist connotations, ghetto blaster proved humorous enough to spread round the world to nearly every English-speaking country where hip hop and break-dancing became popular: groups of youngsters gathering in the street for break-dancing needed a ghetto blaster to provide the accompanying beat. A White American rhythm-and-blues sextet from the Deep South even called themselves The Ghetto Blasters in the early eighties. A back-formed verb ghetto-blast has also developed, with an action noun ghetto-blasting and an adjective ghetto-blasted to go along with it. Brisbane's breakdancers...attracted a bigger crowd than the officially-approved buskers; but retribution wasn't long in following. The police came down, the ghetto blasters were turned off and the kids left. Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 25 May 1986, p. 3 Waterproof Sports models have helped restore silence to ghetto-blasted beaches. Q Oct. 1987, p. 69

7.4 GIFT...


acronym (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) Short for gamete intra-fallopian transfer, a technique for helping infertile couples to conceive, in which eggs and sperm from the couple are inserted into one of the woman's Fallopian tubes ready for fertilization. Etymology: The initial letters of Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer; a gamete is a mature cell able to unite with another in reproduction. Like many recent acronyms, this one seems to be chosen for the significance of the resulting 'word': the technique presents the infertile couple with the much-wanted gift of a child. History and Usage: The technique was developed in the US during the mid eighties as a more 'natural' alternative to in vitro fertilization. Since, using this technique, it is possible for fertilization to occur within the human body, GIFT has proved more acceptable on moral and religious grounds than IVF, the technique which produces 'test-tube babies'. GIFT as a term is often used attributively, in GIFT technique, GIFT delivery, etc. GIFT, which is operating in several non-Catholic hospitals, has a success rate of about 20 per cent. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 5 Apr. 1988, p. 17 They thought that GIFT...treatment would give them a much-wanted baby. New Statesman & Society 15 Dec. 1989, p. 22 See also ZIFT

gigaflop (Science and Technology) see megaflop GIGO giro

(Science and Technology) see expert system noun (People and Society)

In colloquial use in the UK: a cheque or money order issued through the giro system; specifically, a girocheque in payment of social security benefit. Etymology: Shortened from girocheque; the word giro itself, which originally referred to the system for transferring money between banks, post offices, etc., was borrowed from Italian giro 'circulation, tour' in the late nineteenth century. History and Usage: The colloquial form has been in use since the late seventies or early eighties. The erosion of benefits during the eighties meant that the arrival of the weekly giro became a more crucial event than ever for many claimants, a fact that has apparently led to the formation of a derivative girocracy for the under-class of people who depend on their giro for survival, although there is little sign that this derivative will become established. 'That my lager?' he inquired, feeling mean even as he uttered the question. 'Yeah, d'you mind?' said Raymond. 'I'll replace it when I get me next giro.' David Lodge Nice Work (1988), p. 117 7.5 G-Jo


(Health and Fitness) see acupressure

7.6 glam...


(Lifestyle and Leisure) see glitzy


(People and Society) see woopie

glasnost noun (Politics) A policy of freedom of information and publicly accountable, consultative government introduced in the Soviet Union in 1985. Etymology: A direct borrowing from Russian glasnost', literally 'publicness', which in turn is formed from glasnyy 'public,

open' (of courts, proceedings, etc.) and -nost' '-ness'. History and Usage: The word has been used in Russian for several centuries, but only acquired its more specialized political meaning in the Soviet period. It was used in the context of freedom of information by Lenin, and by the dissident writer Solzhenitsyn in an open letter to the Writers' Union in November 1969. Glasnost did not become the subject of serious public debate even within the Soviet Union until January 1985, when an editorial in the state newspaper Izvestiya requested letters on the subject. Many were published, most lamenting the lack of basic information--from bus timetables to the reasons for bureaucratic actions--in Soviet society. When Mikhail Gorbachev used the word in his speech accepting the post of General Secretary of the Communist Party in March 1985, glasnost became one of the keywords taken up by the international press to describe his reforming regime. He said We are committed to expand glasnost in the work of Party, Soviet, State, and public organizations. V. I. Lenin said that the State is made strong through the awareness of the masses; our practice has fully confirmed this conclusion. At first, journalists attempted to translate the Russian word, using 'publicity' or 'openness'. Soon, though, it became clear that no single English word could sum up the full significance of the Russian meaning, and the Russian word itself became one of the most-used political words of 1986-7. It was not long before it came to be applied to public accountability in general and to the relaxation of political regimes in other parts of the world, acquiring in English a rather broader meaning than in its original language, where the emphasis is still very much on the 'right to know' of the Soviet public. It has quickly established its place in English, generating a number of derivatives, some jocular (glasnostrum, glasnostalgia), some more serious (glasnostian, glasnostic, glasnostified), while others remain true to its Russian roots (glasnostnik). Exposes of corruption, shortages and economic problems appear virtually daily in the [Soviet] press. It is a change that became evident after Mikhail S. Gorbachev

came to office last March and called for more 'glasnost', or openness, in covering domestic affairs. New York Times 22 Feb. 1986, section 1, p. 2 Life is still hard under glasnost, Vietnamese-style. headline in Los Angeles Times 30 May 1987, section 1, p. 4 Such recognition of an author [Alexander Solzhenitsyn] once officially scorned as an enemy of the people is a significant marker of the glasnostian literary thaw. Daily Telegraph 4 Aug. 1988, p. 1 See also perestroika gleaming the cube (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) see skateboarding glitch

noun and verb (Science and Technology) In slang (originally in the US): noun: A snag, a hitch or hold-up; a technical error. intransitive verb: To malfunction or go wrong; to suffer a 'hiccup'. Etymology: A figurative use of a word that originally (in the early sixties) meant 'a surge of current'--an occurrence which could lead to unpredictable behaviour from electronic instruments or even complete crashes of computer systems. The word's ultimate origins are rather obscure: it has been claimed that it is borrowed from Yiddish glitsch, which means 'a slip' in its literal sense of losing one's footing, but this theory has been discredited. History and Usage: As mentioned above, glitch was first used in the early sixties, mainly in the slang of people involved in the US space programme. From there it was taken into computing slang, and by the early eighties had become a fashionable word

in the general press for any kind of snag or hold-up, as well as developing more specialized meanings in astronomy and audio recording. It is now used freely in the media in the UK as well as the US, but is still regarded as an Americanism by many British readers. Glitch has a derived adjective glitchy which can be used of programs, systems, etc. that are particularly prone to malfunction. Elsewhere, equipment glitches in the Iranian desert force American commandos to abort the mission to rescue 53 hostages in Tehran. Life Fall 1989, p. 15 The only glitch in the whole Ararat countdown was the failure to get the Project recognized as a charitable institution. Julian Barnes A History of the World in 10« Chapters (1989), p. 267 No matter how carefully I set the unit up it always glitched a little, especially when using the Diatonic Shift. Music Technology Apr. 1990, p. 42 glitterati plural noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) In media slang (originally in the US): the celebrities or 'glittering stars' of fashionable society, especially those from the world of literature and entertainment. Etymology: Formed by telescoping glitter and literati (the people who form the literate, educated ‚lite) into a blend. History and Usage: A name for the group once known as the beautiful people or jet set, glitterati became a popular term in the media in the late seventies and early eighties, when conspicuous glitter especially characterized the stars of show business (see glitzy below). The punning name glitterati had in fact been coined in Time magazine as long ago as 1956, in an

article about a party for publicity-conscious editors: Bobbing and weaving about the premises are a passel of New York glitterati. There is a highbrow editor of a popular magazine who is keen on starting a new literary journal and wants Tom to round up a staff of 'topnotchers' and decorated veterans from the little magazine wars. In the late eighties and early nineties it was used for famous or successful people in any field of public interest, from business and politics to pop music and sport. In the first two episodes, the mix also runs to Thatcherite glitterati (nesting in their Thameside lofts) and disco gays. Listener 30 May 1985, p. 34 In a Lions tour of Australia that has been desperately short of glitterati England's blind-side flanker has emerged as a player of top quality. Guardian 15 July 1989, p. 19 glitzy

adjective (Lifestyle and Leisure) In show-business slang (originally in the US): full of cheap glitter, extravagantly showy, ostentatious, flashy (often with the implication that there is little of substance under the glitter); tawdry or gaudy. Etymology: Probably related to German glitzerig or glitzig 'glittering' and its Yiddish equivalents, but perhaps influenced by glitter and ritzy. History and Usage: The word was first used in American show-business circles in the mid sixties, but it was in the late seventies and eighties that it suddenly became one of the most fashionable reviewers' buzzwords and started to reach a wider audience. This sudden vogue coincided with a particularly showy phase in television entertainment, with the conspicuous wealth and glamour of such upmarket soap operas as Dallas and Dynasty

attracting large audiences in all parts of the English-speaking world. Its new popularity was reflected in a number of derivatives which appeared in the late seventies and early eighties: the nouns glitziness and glitz (extravagant but superficial display, show-business glamour), from which a verb glitz (up) was later formed; the adverb glitzily; and a number of humorous one-off formations such as glitzerati (see glitterati), glitznost (the repackaging of the Labour Party: see glasnost), glitzville, and Glitzkrieg. Glitz often appears in the same sentence as glam (short for glamour) or hype to refer to the superficially glamorous and publicity-seeking world of entertainment, or indeed to anything that tries too hard to 'sell itself'. All of these words are usually at least partly pejorative, corresponding to the more established British English word flashy (and its derviatives flashiness etc.) and serving as an antonym for classy (classiness etc.). The British Film Institute glitzed up its 1985 Awards bash last getting an impressive line-up of screen talent to announce the shortlists. Listener 9 May 1985, p. 31 The phrase 'mini-series' brings visions of melodramatic plots, beautiful women, dastardly men, elaborate costumes, sex, death, mystery and Joan Collins...But with the four-part series, In Between,...there is no glam, no glitz and no Joan Collins. Daily Sun (Brisbane) 5 Mar. 1987, p. 17 Nice women grow old and glum, cynical too, in all this glitz of fur, silk, leather, cosmetics, et cetera, of the glamour trades. Saul Bellow A Theft (1988), p. 49 The conventions have become glitzy coronations instead of fiercely-fought inside battles. Independent 16 July 1988, p. 6 Most of the pictures used only impress the British

professional because of their earning ability--often they're glitzy superficial rubbish produced to a formula. Photopro Spring 1990, p. 4 See also tack global

adjective (Environment)

In environmental jargon: relating to or affecting the Earth as an ecological unit. Used especially in: global consciousness, receptiveness to (and understanding of) cultures other than one's own, often as part of an appreciation of world socio-economic and ecological issues; global warming, a long-term gradual increase in the average temperature in climate systems throughout the world as a result of the greenhouse effect. Etymology: Both these phrases use global in its dominant modern sense of 'worldwide', and are influenced by Marshall McLuhan's famous concept of the global village (coined in Explorations in Communication, 1960), which recognized the way in which technology and communications allow everyone to experience world events simultaneously and so effectively 'shrink' world societies to the level of a single village or tribe. Global consciousness also draws on the fashion for consciousness-raising in the sixties. History and Usage: Global consciousness is originally a US term which arose during the seventies, but became commoner as a catch-phrase (expressing the basis of the 'we are the world' culture) once the green movement gained widespread popular support during the second half of the eighties. It was also during the eighties that global warming entered popular usage, although scientists had begun to use the term in the late seventies, as research began to show that increased carbon dioxide emissions in industrialized countries burning large quantities of fossil fuels would almost certainly contribute to the greenhouse effect to such an extent as to affect worldwide climate. The repercussions of even a small increase in world

temperatures could be far-reaching, including a rise in sea level and widespread flooding or permanent submersion of land; this is one reason why governments started to treat the problem as a serious one requiring prompt preventive action. One of the least pleasant characteristics of our era must surely be its transformation of global consciousness into a sales item. Nation 17 Apr. 1989, p. 529 After the Prime Minister's Downing Street seminar on global warming last year, 'government sources' were quoted as saying that nuclear power had a major part to play. Which? Apr. 1990, p. 222 global double zero (Politics) see zero glocal

adjective (Business World) In business jargon: simultaneously global and local; taking a global view of the market, but adjusted to local considerations. Also as a verb glocalize, to organize one's business on a global scale while taking account of local considerations and conditions; process noun glocalization. Etymology: Formed by telescoping global and local to make a blend; the idea is modelled on Japanese dochakuka (derived from dochaku 'living on one's own land'), originally the agricultural principle of adapting one's farming techniques to local conditions, but also adopted in Japanese business for global localization, a global outlook adapted to local conditions. History and Usage: The idea of going for the world market (global marketing) was a feature of business thinking in the early eighties. By the late eighties and early nineties Western companies had observed the success of Japanese firms in doing this while at the same time exploiting the local conditions as well; this came to be called global localization (or, at first, dochakuka), soon abbreviated to glocalization. It proved to be

one of the main marketing buzzwords of the beginning of the nineties. 'Glocalize,' as the Japanese call it. Fortune 28 Aug. 1989, p. 76 We've witnessed what you might have heard called 'glocalization': making a global product fit the local market. To do that effectively, you've got to have individuals who understand what makes that particular market tick. Advertising Age 8 Jan. 1990, p. 16 gloom and doom noun phrase Also in the form doom and gloom (Business World) (Politics) A feeling or expression of despondency about the future; a grim prospect, especially in political or financial affairs. Etymology: A quotation from the musical Finian's Rainbow (1947, turned into a film in 1968), in which Og the pessimistic leprechaun uses the rhyming phrase as a repeated exclamation: Doom and gloom...D-o-o-m and gl-o-o-m...I told you that gold could only bring you doom and gloom, gloom and doom. History and Usage: This allusive phrase was first picked up by US political commentators in the sixties (perhaps as a result of the popularity of Finian's Rainbow as a film) and was being used as an attributive phrase to describe any worrying or negative forecast by the seventies. In the early eighties it was perhaps particularly associated with economic forecasting and with the disarmament debate; the emphasis shifted in the second half of the eighties to the pessimistic forecasts of some environmentalists about the future of the planet. Both the nuclear and environmental uses influenced the formation of the word doomwatch (originally the name of a BBC television series) for any systematic observation of the planet designed to help avert its destruction. A person who makes a forecast of gloom

and doom is a gloom-and-doomster. Amongst all the recent talk of doom and gloom one thing has been largely overlooked. Daily Telegraph 7 Nov. 1987, p. 18 When the grass isn't always greener: gloom and doom that foreign companies are getting ahead in IT is not only a British disease. headline in Guardian 17 Aug. 1989, p. 29 gluten-free (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see -free 7.7 go...


verb (Youth Culture) In young people's speech: to say, to pronounce (usually in the present tense, reporting speech in the past). Etymology: An extension of the use of go to report a non-verbal sound of some kind expressed as an onomatopoeic word or phrase, as in 'the bell went ding-dong' or 'the gun went bang', perhaps with some influence from nursery talk (as in 'ducks go quack, cows go moo'). History and Usage: This has been used in young people's speech for some time, but was only recently taken up by writers for use in print. Typically the narrative part of the sentence is in the past tense, but go is in the historic present, as, for example 'I bashed him on the head, so he goes "What d'you want to do that for?"' He liked that very much. So he goes: 'More. Sing it again.' Michael Rosen Quick Let's Get Out of Here (1983), p. 67 I go, 'You don't understand how I felt, do you?'

Elmore Leonard Bandits (1987), p. 19 gobsmacked adjective Also written gob-smacked (Youth Culture) In British slang: astounded, flabbergasted; speechless or incoherent with amazement; overawed. Etymology: Formed from gob (slang for the mouth) and smacked; the image is that of clapping a hand over the mouth, a stock theatrical gesture of surprise also widely used in cartoon strips. History and Usage: Although probably in spoken use for some time (especially in Northern dialects), gobsmacked did not start to appear in print until the middle of the eighties. Surprisingly it was the 'quality' newspapers which particularly took it up--perhaps to show their familiarity with the current idiom of young people--although it also appeared in the tabloids, along with a synonym gobstruck. A verb gobsmack was back-formed from the adjective in the late eighties. It's this act...with which she has been gobsmacking the punters in a recent cluster of Personal Appearances in gay clubs, straight clubs, and 'kids clubs'. Melody Maker 24 Oct. 1987, p. 18 In short, his work leaves me gobstruck--or would have done, had not a reader written to chide me for using what he calls 'this mean and ugly little word'. Godfrey Smith in Sunday Times 3 Sept. 1989, section B, p. 3 When told the price, between 10 and five times over estimate, he was 'gobsmacked'. Daily Telegraph 21 Sept. 1989, p. 3 go-go

noun Also written GoGo (Music) (Youth Culture)

A style of popular music (originating in the Black communities of Washington DC) characterized by an energetic soul sound and an incessant funk-style beat, and using a mixture of acoustic and electronic instruments; a gathering at which this music is played; also, the street subculture surrounding it. Etymology: Probably a specialized development of go-go as used of discos, their music, and disco-dancing in the sixties. One of the founders of the subculture, Chuck Brown, claims that the name arose when he asked an audience 'What time is it?' and they shouted back 'Time to go-go!' History and Usage: Go-go is the Washington equivalent of New York's hip hop; its musical roots are in the late sixties, when the principle of a continuous beat and the call-and-response style of lyric that characterizes the music were first developed. It remained limited to its Washington audience until the late seventies, when its first big record hits were released, but from the mid eighties onwards was widely promoted outside Washington and became popular in the UK as well. The word go-go is often used attributively, especially in go-go music. Go-go is aggressively live, drawing anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 people a night to go-gos scattered throughout the city. It is the live performance that defines go-go and denotes its champions. Washington Post 19 May 1985, section G, p. 4 Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers who spearheaded the Go-Go attack in 1986 play three nights at The Town & Country Club in Kentish part of the Camden Festival. Blues & Soul 3-16 Feb. 1987, p. 9 gold card noun (Business World) A preferential charge card (usually coloured gold), which is issued only to people with a high credit rating and entitles them to a range of benefits and financial services not offered to holders of the standard card; hence, a preferential or

exclusive membership of any organization. Etymology: Named after its colour, which was no doubt chosen for its connotations of wealth, security, and quality. History and Usage: A preferential credit card was first issued by American Express in the US in the mid sixties, but this did not become known as a gold card until the seventies; various other charge-card companies then followed suit. Gold cards became available in the UK in the early eighties; here, as in the US, possession of one is regarded as an important status symbol (since high income is a condition of issue, a fee is payable for membership, and they open the door to a better service than other plastic money). A sign of their reputation for exclusivity is the fact that gold card has already started to be used figuratively and in an allusive attributive phrase, rather like Rolls-Royce, to mean 'expensive' or 'for the ‚lite'. Gold cards these days come with a battery of useful services. In the case of NatWest there is Freefone Brokerline for share dealing, plus free personal accident insurance and an investment and tax advisory service. NatWest customers will have to pay œ50 a year for their new gold card service on renewal. The Times 21 June 1986, p. 27 Beverly and Elliot Mantle--the film's twin brothers, partners in gold card gynaecology. The Face Jan. 1989, p. 65 On offer also is a Gold Membership. Those who hold a Gold Card may enjoy full use of the gymnasium, squash courts, sauna, snooker, pool, darts and the club lounge, which is equipped with hi-fi sound and video. Oxford Mail 19 Mar. 1990, p. 26 golden

adjective (Business World)

In business jargon: involving the payment of a large sum of money or other gifts to an employee. Used in a number of phrases

humorously modelled on golden handshake (a sum of money paid to an employee on retirement or redundancy), including: golden handcuffs, benefits provided by an employer to make it difficult or unattractive for the employee to leave and work elsewhere; golden hello, a substantial lump sum over and above the salary package, offered by a prospective employer to a senior executive as an inducement to accept a post; golden parachute, a clause in an executive's contract guaranteeing a substantial sum on termination of the contract, even if the employee has not performed well; golden retriever, a sum of money paid to a person who has already left an employer's staff in order to persuade him or her to return. Etymology: All of these phrases rely on the association of gold with riches; golden handcuffs, golden hello, and golden parachute consciously alter the earlier golden handshake, while golden retriever also relies for its humorous effect on the pun with the breed of dog of the same name. History and Usage: The phrase golden handshake dates from the early sixties, but it was not until the late seventies and eighties that the humorous variations on the theme started to be invented: golden handcuffs came first in the second half of the seventies, followed by the golden hello in the early eighties and the golden parachute and golden retriever in the late eighties. The theme of gold is continued in other areas of business and marketing in the eighties, for example in the expression golden bullet for a product that is extremely successful and golden share, a controlling interest in a company (especially one which has recently been privatized), allowing the golden shareholder (usually the government) to veto undesirable policies. Managers...have private health insurance, a better than average pension scheme, a car, and perhaps help with independent school fees from the company. These 'golden handcuffs' are a hangover from the days of labour

shortages and income policies and higher tax rates. The Times 4 Apr. 1985, p. 30 It wasn't long before most of RJR Nabisco's top executives 'pulled the rip cords on their golden parachutes'...Mr. Johnson's alone was worth œ53 million. New York Times Book Review 21 Jan. 1990, p. 7 Hordes of graduate recruitment managers would appear on one's doorstep clambering and pushing to make the best golden hello/salary/benefits offer. World Outside: Career Guide 1990, p. 6 goldmail (Business World) see greenmail goon

(Drugs) see angel dust


noun (Politics)

A Western nickname for Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since 1985 and President of the Soviet Union sice 1990; used in compounds and blends including Gorbymania, widespread public enthusiasm outside the Soviet Union for Mr Gorbachev and his liberalizing policies. Etymology: Formed by adding the diminutive suffix -y to the first syllable of Gorbachev. History and Usage: The nickname became widely known throughout the English-speaking world in 1987, when Mr Gorbachev was enthusiastically greeted with cries of Gorby from large crowds of people both in Western Europe and in Warsaw Pact countries on trips outside the Soviet Union. His ability to communicate with Western leaders (summed up by Margaret Thatcher's famous phrase 'This is a man we can do business with') as well as his determination to turn round the Soviet economy through perestroika made him appear to many people in the West as the embodiment of a new order in world politics (even though he could not command the same popularity inside the Soviet Union),

and certainly contributed to the disappearance of the Iron Curtain in 1989. The most fevered period of Gorbymania (also sometimes written Gorbamania or Gorbomania) came in 1987-9; it was also called Gorby fever in the press. So great was the enthusiasm for Gorby that, at the time of the signing of the INF treaty in December 1987, one US commentator sarcastically dubbed it a Gorbasm: this word, too, was taken up enthusiastically by journalists (who did not always use it with the critical connotations of William Bennett's remark, quoted below). He had that smile, he had those surprises, he had the INF Treaty. Gorbachic! Gorbymania! Or, as Secretary of Education William Bennett said, warning of overenthusiasm, 'Gorbasms!' Washington Post 11 Dec. 1987, section C, p. 13 Gorbymania grips Bonn...Mikhail Gorbachev stepped out on to the balcony...and appeared overwhelmed by the thousands of Germans cheering his name in a euphoric welcome. 'Gorby! Gorby! Gorby!' they shouted. Sydney Morning Herald 15 June 1989, p. 15 In the midst of his country's bout of Gorbymania, the fact that George Bush is...cautious...may have obscured his own little Gorbasm. Within days of the opening of the Berlin Wall, the defense secretary...was asking the services to find 180 billion dollars of cuts over three years. Spectator 9 Dec. 1989, p. 9 goth

noun (Music) (Youth Culture) A style of rock music characterized by an intense or droning blend of guitar, bass, and drums, often with mystical or apocalyptic lyrics. Also, a performer or follower of this music or the youth subculture which surrounds it, favouring a white-faced appearance with heavy black make-up and predominantly black clothing. Etymology: A back-formation from the adjective Gothic; the

style of dress and some elements of the lyrics evoke the style of Gothic fantasy. History and Usage: Goth grew out of the punk movement in the late seventies, with bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees making the transition from punk; by the mid eighties it had attracted large numbers of British youngsters to its subculture. One of the most noticeable things about the goth look is its elaborate dress code, including black leather, crushed velvet, heavy silver jewellery, and pointed boots, combined with long hair, white-painted faces, and heavy black eyeliner. Although this gives a rather gloomy appearance, most goths are actually peace-loving vegetarians who see themselves as the heirs to the hippie movement of the sixties. The leading performers of the music (also known as goth rock or even goth punk) include Sisters Of Mercy, whose leader Andrew Eldritch reportedly chose his pseudonym from the Oxford English Dictionary, where the adjective eldritch is defined as 'weird, ghostly, unnatural, frightful, hideous'. A more middle-class and tame version of the goth subculture, based on indie music and ethnic clothes, is dismissively known as diddy goth among young goths. Siouxsie Sioux is the godmother of goth-punk, and her Banshees' brew hasn't been reformulated in years. Washington Post 14 Oct. 1988, section N, p. 22 Justin, 22, a computer operator from Southend, explains he's a 'total' goth and fan of SOM, though he does have a surprisingly catholic taste in music...'The way I look at it, goth is being into alternative music. We're a mixture of the punk and hippie things. We're into black and the occult.' Evening Standard 22 Mar. 1989, p. 42 gotta lotta bottle see bottle 7.8 graphic novel...

graphic novel

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A full-length story (especially science fiction or fantasy) in comic-strip format, published in book form for the adult or teenage market. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a novel in graphic form (that is, told in pictures rather than continuous text). History and Usage: Graphic novels and comic-books generally have been popular in Japan (where they are known as manga 'exciting pictures') since about the sixties, and represent an important section of the publishing industry there. For as long as ten years there has been a cult following among adults in the West for 'adult comics' and for certain comic strips (such as the Tin-Tin and Asterix stories) in book form; the popularity of this format for science fiction and fantasy, together with the increasing popularity of fantasy in general in the eighties, led to the promotion of graphic novels as a distinct section of the publishing market from about 1982--a policy which by the end of the decade had proved a great commercial success. By November of this year [they] will be publishing 10 monthlies and will have 11 graphic novels in print. Chicago Tribune 28 Aug. 1986, section 5, p. 1 There is far more to the graphic novel than recording the exploits of Donatello and his ninja friends. Times Educational Supplement 2 Nov. 1990, Review section, p. 1 See also photonovel graphics card (Science and Technology) see cardý gray economy (Business World) see grey economy graymail (Business World) see greenmail


intransitive verb (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society) To perform an action in a casual or perfunctory manner; to sample or browse. More specifically, either to eat snacks or small meals throughout the day in preference to full meals at regular times; also, to consume unpurchased foodstuffs while shopping (or working) in a supermarket, or to flick rapidly between television channels, to zap. Etymology: These are transferred and figurative uses of the verb graze 'to feed', which is normally only used of cattle or other animals. History and Usage: Although there are much earlier isolated examples of graze used with reference to people (for example, Shakespeare's Juliet is told to 'graze where thou wilt'), the new senses defined here first appeared in the US in the early eighties, and focus on the metaphorical similarities of behaviour between human grazers and their animal counterparts. Whereas snacking has been current since the late fifties, the term grazing became most popular in the America of the mid eighties, where it seemed to have become part of the mythology both of the yuppie and of the couch potato: the former too busy to eat proper meals, the latter too preoccupied with the 'tube' to prepare them at home. The phenomenon of supermarket shoppers (and staff) eating produce straight from the shelves could in part be attributed to larger stores (which are harder to supervise) and consequently longer shopping excursions, but it seems more likely that the problem existed earlier, only becoming a trend when given a name. Technically theft, grazing became for some the acceptable (and ingenious) face of shoplifting, perhaps because of its euphemistic name and the fact that the goods are consumed on the premises rather than being taken away. Only in the late eighties did television become a successful grazing ground. Two factors were particularly significant: the growth of cable television in the US, with the proliferation of channels to graze among, and the popularity of remote control devices (or zappers: see zap). The grazer, feeling hunger pangs, drives to the Chinese

restaurant and orders a couple of dozen jiaozi...This is consumed in the car, using chopsticks kept permanently in the glove compartment. Observer Magazine 19 May 1985, p. 45 Yuppies do not eat. They socialize, they network, they graze or troll. New York 17 June 1985, p. 43 It's thousands of bits from TV shows within one TV show--a grazer's paradise. USA Today 27 Feb. 1989, section D, p. 3 Brian Finn wandered from room to room, grazing on sandwiches and answering questions. Bryan Burrough & John Helyar Barbarians at the Gate (1990), p. 448 green

adjective, noun and verb (Environment) (Politics) adjective: Supporting or concerned with the conservation of the environment (see environment°), especially as a political issue; environmentalist, ecological. Hence also (of a product, a process, etc.) not harmful to the environment; environment-friendly. noun: A person who supports the Green Party or an environmentalist political cause. transitive verb: To make (people, a society, etc.) aware of ecological issues or able to act on ecological principles; to change the policies of (a party, a government, etc.) so as to minimize harm to the environment. Etymology: In this sense, the adjective is really a translation of German gr•n; the whole association of the colour green with the environmental lobby goes back to the West German ecological movements of the early seventies, notably the Gr•ne Aktion Zukunft (Green Campaign for the Future) and the gr•ne Listen

(green lists--lists of ecological candidates standing for election). There were, of course, antecedents even within English, in which green has a centuries-old association with pastoralism and nature: the most obvious, perhaps, is the green belt. The noun and verb have arisen through conversion of green in its ecological sense to new grammatical uses. History and Usage: The West German green movement grew out of widespread public opposition to the use of nuclear power in the late sixties and early seventies and soon became an important force in West German politics. At about the same time, an international organization campaigning for peace and environmental responsibility was formed; originally operating from Canada, this organization soon became known as Greenpeace. These were the two main influences on the adoption of green as the keyword for all environmental issues in English and the subsequent explosion of uses of green and its derivatives. The transition did not take place until about the middle of the eighties in British English, though. (Green was used both as an adjective and a noun to describe West German political developments, but in general the movement was known here as the ecology movement, and that was also the official title of the party now known as the Green Party.) Since that time, the adoption of a green stance by nearly all political parties and the re-education of the general public to be environmentally aware (the greening of country and politics) has led some people to speak of a green revolution not just in the UK but throughout the industrialized world (the term had in fact been used in the US before Britons started to use green in its ecological sense at all widely). As green became one of the most popular adjectives in the media in the late eighties, its use was extended to policies designed to stop the destruction of the environment (green labelling, the same thing as eco- or environmental labelling, green tax, etc.), and then to products and activities considered from the viewpoint of their impact on the environment (compare ecological and environmental). Green as a noun was first applied to the West German campaigners, who became known as 'the Greens', but once the adjective became established in the mid eighties, the noun was extended to members of other environmentalist parties and

organizations as well, and eventually to anyone who favoured conservation. Colloquially, such a person became a greenie or greenster; different hues of greenness (or greenism, or even greenery) also began to be recognized--someone who was in favour of very extreme environmentalist measures became a dark green or deep green, for example. As political parties began to realize the need to adopt green policies in the face of what promised to be the green decade of the nineties, it was natural that the word should also come to be used as a verb; greening as a 'verbal' noun had already existed for more than a decade in this sense (for example, in the book title The Greening of America, 1970). A Centre for Policy Studies report on Conservative Party involvement in green issues, written in 1985, was called Greening the Tories, turning this round into a transitive verb, and since then the verb has become quite common. Mr Cramond said that the Highlands welcomed people from outside with knowledge and expertise who were willing to make things work, but there was no room for green settlers who hoped to live on 'free-range carrots'. Aberdeen Press & Journal 17 June 1986, p. 9 While socialists tend to emphasise the liberation of women, greens wish equally to liberate men. Green Line Oct. 1988, p. 17 Despite winning 14 per cent of the European vote in Britain, British greens will have no seats at the European Parliament. Nature 22 June 1989, p. 565 Labour...accused the Government of spending taxpayers' agreeing to an unprecedented œ1bn 'green dowry' for environmental schemes in the water industry. Independent 3 Aug. 1989, p. 1 It may be that 'green' products biodegrade more quickly

and thoroughly, since they tend to use surfactants based on vegetable oils rather than petro-chemicals. Which? Sept. 1989, p. 431 Vegetarians and the more self-denying Greenies may find themselves in an awkward moral dilemma. Guardian 23 Feb. 1990, p. 29 Although 'deep greens' only account for a small percentage of the population, they are becoming more influential. The Times 28 Mar. 1990, p. 21 British Gas has been quick to seek to capitalise on worries about the effect of energy consumption on the environment. It has advertised the 'greenness' of its main product--natural gas--in comparison with other hydrocarbons. Financial Times 20 Apr. 1990, section 5, p. 1 Greenham wimmin (Politics) (People and Society) see wimmin greenhouse noun (Environment) In environmental jargon, the Earth's atmosphere regarded as acting like a greenhouse, as pollutants (especially carbon dioxide) build up in it, allowing through more heat from the sun than reflected heat rising from the Earth's surface, so that heat in the lower atmosphere is unable to escape and global warming occurs; mostly used attributively, especially in: greenhouse effect, the trapping of the sun's warmth in the lower atmosphere because of this process; greenhouse gas, any of the various gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect (especially carbon dioxide).

Etymology: A figurative use of greenhouse; in a real greenhouse, the air temperature can be kept high because the glass allows sunlight through but prevents the warmed air from escaping. History and Usage: The concept of the greenhouse effect was first worked on by meteorologists in the late nineteenth century, but it was not given this name until the 1920s. Public interest in the effect, and in the problem of global warming generally, has grown steadily since the beginning of the eighties, allowing the term to pass from specialist use in meteorology into a more widespread currency. During the eighties, attributive uses of greenhouse multiplied, as greenhouse became a shorthand way of saying 'greenhouse effect', and anything which contributed to this could then be described as 'greenhouse x'. By far the commonest of these shorthand terms is greenhouse gas, but there have also been greenhouse-friendly (see -friendly), greenhouse pollutant, greenhouse potential (the potential of a substance to contribute to the greenhouse effect), greenhouse tax (a tax on greenhouse gases, also known as carbon tax: here greenhouse means 'designed to combat the greenhouse effect'), and greenhouse warming (another name for global warming). The Greenhouse melted the poles and the glaciers, and those won't reform overnight. George Turner The Sea & Summer (1987), p. 12 We calculate that the solar flux necessary to trigger a runaway greenhouse is about 1.4 times the amount of sunlight that currently impinges on the earth. Scientific American Feb. 1988, p. 52 HCFC 142b...has 40 per cent of the so-called 'greenhouse potential' of CFC 11. New Scientist 13 May 1989, p. 26 The criticism was especially pointed in light of Bush's campaign rhetoric promising to tackle the problem of greenhouse warming.

Nature 18 May 1989, p. 168 The destruction of the tropical rain-forest is also contributing to the greenhouse effect, since forests help to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Which? Sept. 1989, p. 431 greenmail noun (Business World) In financial jargon, the practice of buying up enough stock in a company to threaten a hostile take-over, thereby forcing the company's management to buy the shares back at an inflated price if they are to retain control of the business. Etymology: Formed by substituting green for the black of blackmail; unlike blackmail, greenmail remains within the law, and it is backed by dollars ('greens'). This is not the first such alteration of the word blackmail: in the seventies there were a number of court cases in the US in which the defence threatened to expose government secrets unless charges were dropped, and these became known as greymail (or, in the US, graymail) cases. History and Usage: Greenmail was one of many financial manoeuvres surrounding take-over bids that developed, principally in the US, during the first half of the eighties. In the UK the practice was limited by the Takeover Panel. By the middle of the decade the word had also started to be used as a verb, and an agent noun greenmailer had been derived from this. It has been claimed that, when the deal is worth more than a certain sum of money, it becomes known as goldmail. She went into hostile corporate takeovers, the money being greenmail and arbitrage. Saul Bellow More Die of Heartbreak (1987), p. 79 His clients were little-known 'wanna-be' raiders, third-tier greenmailers such as...Herbert Haft, the pompadoured scourge of the retail industry.

Bryan Burrough & John Helyar Barbarians at the Gate (1990), p. 157 Greenpeace noun (Environment) see green green PEP (Business World) see PEP grey

(Environment) see ungreen

grey economy noun Written gray economy in the US (Business World) In financial jargon, the consumption, income, earnings, etc. generated by or relating to commercial activity which is unaccounted for in official statistics. Etymology: Formed by applying the grey of grey market to the economy as a whole (see below); a lesser version of the black economy. History and Usage: The term grey economy first appeared in the early eighties; the term grey market from which it derives can be traced back to post-war America, where it described the unscrupulous selling of scarce or rationed goods at inflated prices (a lesser black market). As the phrase grey economy became established its meaning was extended to cover any unorthodox or unofficial trading which is conducted in the wide grey area between official indicators of economic growth and the black market. In specific applications the term has been used with reference to any unwaged but significant activity (such as housework); to the earnings of those who 'moonlight' by taking a second job, often under an assumed name; to the makeshift system of bartering, exchange of goods, etc. which co-exists with the State economy, especially in the countries of the old Eastern bloc; and to the growing practice among small independent retailers in Britain of importing a product direct from its manufacturer or a foreign supplier in order to retail it at a price lower than that of its official distributor. The steady emergence of this last phenomenon during the eighties is in part explained by the strong encouragement given to small businesses in the enterprise culture.

Street vendors...have sprouted lately as an above-ground grey economy. Their goods--clothes, watches, jewellery--are not stolen, but bought wholesale. Economist 2 Apr. 1983, p. 70 Italy, too, has a thriving entrepreneurial sector, but it is largely part of the 'gray' economy and so does not appear in the figures of tax collectors or government statisticians. Harvard Business Review Jan.-Feb. 1984, p. 60 greymail (Business World) see greenmail GRID grody

(Health and Fitness) see Aids adjective Also written groady (Youth Culture) In the slang of US teenagers: vile, revolting, grotty. Especially in the phrase grody to the max (i.e. maximum: see max), unspeakably awful, 'the pits'. Etymology: This is generally thought to be a clipped form of grotesque, like the more familiar grotty, but it could perhaps be a diminutive of gross, which has been a favourite term of disgust among American youngsters in recent decades (compare scuzzy for 'disgusting': see scuzz). History and Usage: Grody has been in spoken use since the late sixties but became fashionable through the spread of Valspeak in the early eighties (especially in the phrase grody to the max). It was widely popularized by a Moon Unit Zappa record of 1983, in which Moon Unit is heard to say: Like my mother makes me do all the dishes. It's like so gross like all the stuff sticks to the plates...It's like grody, grody to the max. By 1985 a new noun had appeared: the grodies were the bag people, the homeless tramps who slept rough in the streets. Grody is not yet used in British English except in conscious

imitation of American Valspeak. Omigod, Mom, like that's totally beige...I mean grody to the max, just gruesome. Gimme a royal break. New York Times 12 Dec. 1982 (Connecticut Weekly), p. 4 gross

(Youth Culture) see grody

groupware (Science and Technology) see -ware 7.9 guestage...

guestage noun (Politics) A foreign national held as a hostage (but called a 'guest') in Iraq or Kuwait during the period following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990. Etymology: Formed by telescoping guest and hostage to make a blend. History and Usage: This is a name which the hostages themselves invented in about September 1990. It remained in use until after they were allowed to return home in December 1990, but did not gain the enthusiastic support from the media that such words might usually enjoy, and is unlikely to survive in the language (except, perhaps, in historical accounts of the Gulf War) now that the motivation for it no longer exists. In his second television appearance with the 'guestages', as they had come to be known, he [Saddam Hussein] had not bargained for a forthright English woman. Independent 3 Sept. 1990, p. 5 guppie noun Sometimes written Guppie or guppy (Environment) (People and Society) Either (mostly in the US) a gay yuppie or (mostly in the UK) a green yuppie: a yuppie who is concerned about the environment

and green issues generally. Etymology: Formed by substituting the initial letter of gay or green for the y- of yuppie (see yuppie). History and Usage: The word guppie was invented by the media in 1984 as one of the many variations on the theme of yuppie that arose in the mid eighties (including buppie and others mentioned at yuppie). Since it has always had several possible interpretations (apart from those mentioned above, one newspaper even used it for greedy yuppie), most sources have needed to expand or explain it, and it has never gained any real foothold in the language despite fairly frequent use in journalism. It has been described as a journalists' 'stunt word', saying more about the influence of yuppie than anything else; this may well prove to be true, although with the importance of green issues in the late eighties and early nineties, it could still become established in its own right in the sense of an ecologically aware middle-class person and lose some of its associations with yuppie. There is one group that is totally universal: 'Guppies'--Gay Urban Professionals...The so-called 'pink economy' (Guppies' lack of family commitments means money to burn) enables them to acquire possessions and indulge in activities that make straight Yuppies green with envy. Russell Ash, Marissa Piesman, & Marilee Hartley The Official British Yuppie Handbook (1984), p. 16 On Wednesdays at midnight, Razor Sharp [a drag queen] appears with her Go-Go Boys at this upper West Side Guppie hangout. Newsday 3 Feb. 1989, section 2, p. 3 Far from building bridges between environmentalists and big yuppies or 'guppies' have 'delivered the green movement into the lap of the industrialist'. Daily Telegraph 20 Sept. 1989, p. 15


adjective (Youth Culture)

In British slang: utterly exhausted or fed up, devastated, 'shattered'. Etymology: A figurative use of the adjective gutted, graphically describing the feeling of having lost all one's 'guts'. An earlier sense in underground slang (current in the nineteenth century) was 'penniless'. History and Usage: Although probably in spoken use for some time (it has been claimed that it is originally from prison slang), this sense of gutted did not start to appear in print until the mid eighties, when it suddenly became a favourite with journalists (especially the tabloid press). People interviewed after disappointments or scandals were often quoted as saying that they were gutted, although it was often difficult to be sure whether this was really the interviewee's word or the journalist's. Seb must be gutted. Pulling out of the 1500m...must have been an agonising decision. Sunday Mirror 4 Feb. 1990, p. 42 I've heard nothing for four months. I'm gutted because I still love him. Sun 6 Feb. 1991, p. 22 8.0 H

8.1 hack...


verb and noun (Science and Technology) In computing slang, transitive or intransitive verb: To gain unauthorized access to

(a computer system or electronic data); to engage in computing as an end in itself, especially when this involves 'outwitting' the system (an activity known as hacking). noun: A person (also known as a hacker) who enjoys using computing as an end in itself, especially when it involves trying to break into other people's systems. Also, an attempt to break into a system; a spell of hacking. Etymology: In both parts of speech, this is a specialized sense development relying on more than one existing sense. The verb probably arises from a US slang sense of hack meaning 'to manage, accomplish, comprehend' (usually in the phrase to hack it), since it first appeared in computing slang to describe enthusiastic use of computers, without any connotation of looking at other people's data; as a word for breaking into other computer systems, though, it must also be influenced by the original sense of the verb, 'to cut with heavy blows'. The noun was probably back-formed from hacking, but in the sense of an attempt to break into a computer system it has links with a more general US sense, 'a try, attempt'. History and Usage: Computing enthusiasts first used this group of words in print to refer to enthusiastic (if not obsessive) use of computers in the mid seventies, although they were almost certainly using them in speech before that. By the early eighties, the 'sport' of breaking into computer systems, whether purely for pleasure, to expose some form of corruption, or as part of a more complex crime, had begun to be reported in the media, and soon appeared to be reaching epidemic proportions. Certainly it is the unauthorized type of hacking that has received greater media exposure, and therefore this set of meanings that has become widely popularized rather than the earlier ones (which nevertheless remain in use among enthusiasts, who still call themselves hacks or hackers). The verb is used either transitively (one can hack a system) or intransitively, often followed by the adverb in or the preposition into. With the almost universal use of computers in the business world and in defence planning and research in the late eighties, the activities of hackers could prove expensive or dangerous to their targets and various measures were taken to make systems hacker-proof or to provide an electronic hacker watch to catch the culprits red-handed. In the UK the Computer

Misuse Act (1990) was a formal attempt to limit the damage. The jargon of hackers (enthusiasts or criminals) has been called hackerspeak. A specialized form of hacking practised by youngsters involves breaking the software protection on computer games; this is also known as cracking. If you want to keep your street cred in the hacking fraternity, you've got to have an introduction screen with stunning graphics, a message to all the other hacking groups saying 'Hi guys. We did it first,' and comments on how good the software protection was. Guardian 27 July 1989, p. 25 Hacking uncovers design flaws and security deficiencies...We must rise to defend those endangered by the hacker witch-hunts. Harper's Magazine Sept. 1989, p. 26 1988: Hacker Robert Morris releases a software virus that kayos 6,000 computer systems. Life Fall 1989, p. 30 The cost of restoring a computer system which is hacked into can run into hundreds and thousands of pounds for investigating and rebuilding the system. The Times 11 Oct. 1989, p. 2 hack-and-slash adjectival phrase Also written hack'n'slash (Lifestyle and Leisure) Of entertainment, especially role-playing and computer games: having combat and violence as its central theme, rather than logical thinking or problem-solving. Etymology: So named because the idea is to hack and slash one's way to a successful conclusion. History and Usage: A term from Dungeons and Dragons (where it

originally occurred in the form hack-and-slay). A game based on the idea of killing the enemy, or a person who likes this kind of game, is known as a hack-and-slasher. Perhaps under the influence of the computer-game use, a film or video whose main theme is gratuitous violence may be called a hack-and-slash film or a hack-and-slasher (compare slasher). Added another player: 'This is no hack-and-slash game. You win by creativity.' Christian Science Monitor 9 Feb. 1981, p. 15 A pseudo-educational game...One for the kids, rather than the hack'n'slashers, wethinks. CU Amiga Apr. 1990, p. 5 hackette noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) In media slang, a female journalist. (Dismissive unless used by a fellow journalist.) Etymology: Formed by adding the feminine suffix -ette (as in usherette, but which also often has patronising or pejorative connotations) to hack. As well as being a pejorative word for a writer (implying poor-quality writing produced to a deadline), hack is used among journalists as a positive term of solidarity for all those who work in in-house journalism. History and Usage: A term coined by the British satirical paper Private Eye, apparently to describe Emma Soames, hackette remains a word particularly favoured by this source, although it has also appeared in a number of the more serious newspapers and has already found its way into fiction. It is principally a British usage, but began to appear in US sources as well from about the middle of the eighties. There are distinguished female professors..., television speakerenes, Fleet Street hackettes, and publishers. Tim Heald Networks (1983), p. 167 One hackette...was ordered to ring up travel writer

Bruce Chatwin...and interrogate him. Private Eye 3 Apr. 1987, p. 8 The worlds of newspapers and publishing are unbuttoned, and hackettes can wear pretty well anything. The Times 11 May 1987, p. 12 half shell (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) see Turtle handbagging noun (Politics) In media slang, a forthright verbal attack or volley of criticism, usually delivered by a female politician (especially Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister 1979-90). Etymology: Formed on the noun handbag; the metaphor intended is that of a verbal battering likened to being bashed about the head by Mrs Thatcher's handbag. This picks up the imagery of comic strips, in which cantankerous women are sometimes shown beating another person (usually a young man) about the head with a handbag. There is also possibly an intentional pun on sandbagging, a term used figuratively for political bullying or criticism since the seventies. History and Usage: The word arises from a remark made by a Conservative back-bencher in 1982. This was reported in the Economist as follows: One of her less reverent backbenchers said of Mrs Thatcher recently that 'she can't look at a British institution without hitting it with her handbag'. Treasury figures published last week show how good she has proved at handbagging the civil service. The word became especially popular in the British press in the middle of the eighties--after Mrs Thatcher's often strident protests at EC gatherings and several disagreements with Cabinet ministers had gained her a reputation for such verbal batterings--and is presumably a temporary term in the language,

unless it comes to be applied widely to other female politicians. The verb handbag (from which the noun had arisen) and the adjective handbagging (describing this style of persuasion) also enjoyed a brief popularity in the media. No one crosses Margaret Thatcher and gets away with it. And no one is too grand to escape the process of 'handbagging', which has been refined to an art under her premiership. Independent 11 May 1987, p. 17 In the past, Neil Kinnock has been hand-bagged unmercifully, but he is now beginning to bowl her length. Observer 22 Oct. 1989, p. 15 Mrs Thatcher has a 'handbagging attitude to German reunification.' Daily Telegraph 27 Feb. 1990, p. 16 hands-on adjective (Business World) (Science and Technology) Involving direct participation; practical rather than theoretical. Also used of a person: having or willing to gain practical experience. Etymology: Formed on the verbal phrase to get one's hands on (something) 'to touch or get involved in' and influenced by the exclamation hands off! 'do not touch or interfere!' History and Usage: Hands-on was first used as an adjective in relation to computer training in the late sixties, when opportunities to learn computing by sitting down at the keyboard and actually using the computer were described as hands-on experience. Throughout the seventies this was the dominant sense of the adjective, although towards the end of the decade a number of new applications were beginning to develop: people who had practical experience, or jobs which required it, could now be described as hands-on, and the metaphor was taken up in a more literal way by museums devoted to experiential learning,

where visitors were encouraged to handle and use the exhibits. It was also at the end of the seventies that hands-on came to be used figuratively in hands-on management, a style of management in which executives are expected to get involved in the business at all levels, including the production process itself. (The opposite policy, in which managers interfere as little as possible and give their subordinates maximum room for manoeuvre, is called hands-off management.) During the eighties hands-on has been applied in a wide variety of different contexts to direct, practical participation. The sucessful candidate will have a solid record of achievement in 'hands-on' management established over several years experience. Wanganui Chronicle (New Zealand) 19 Feb. 1986, p. 10 Reactor operators are denied hands-on control until they have proved their competence in a simulator. Just as pilots make their first mistakes firmly fixed to the ground, reactor staff are brought up to standard without the risk of accidentally plunging the world into Armageddon. Guardian 3 Aug. 1989, p. 27 Zapata, who has been working in the business since she was a teenager, is the hands-on administrator of operations at Dawn. Delaware Today July 1990, p. 56 happening adjective (Lifestyle and Leisure) In young people's slang: trendy, up-to-the-minute, 'hip', that is 'where the action is'. Etymology: Formed by shortening the phrase what's happening or where it's (all) happening and treating happening as an adjective. During the teenage revolution of the sixties, the noun happening was widely used to mean any fashionable event, especially a pop gathering, and happenings is a slang name for narcotics; the phrase what's happening? is a popular street

greeting among US teenagers, perhaps originating in the language of jazz. History and Usage: One of the happening words of the late eighties, happening as an adjective started in California in the late seventies; in her pastiche of Californian life The Serial (1977), American writer Cyra McFadden makes one of her characters say: Who could live anywhere else? Marin's this whole high-energy trip with all these happening people...Can you imagine spending your life out there in the wasteland someplace? The word then became enshrined in Valspeak in the early eighties, and eventually emerged in the pop and rock music world generally around the middle of the decade. In the UK it is still used mainly in writing for young people, but has also started to crop up in fashionable magazines and newspaper colour supplements. 'Me and George Michael,' she adds, lapsing into pop-speak, 'may turn out to be a pretty happening scene.' Sunday Express Magazine 1 Feb. 1987, p. 13 Nothing looks sadder than a man wearing voluminous, 'happening' dungarees but with a bemoussed hairstyle that is pure Bros. Weekend Guardian 21 Apr. 1990, p. 25 Manchester is this year's happening place. Sunday Times Magazine 6 May 1990, p. 36 hard card (Science and Technology) see cardý hard lens (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) see lens 8.2 headbanger...

headbanger° noun Also written head banger or head-banger (Music) (Youth Culture) In rock music slang: a follower of heavy metal rock music; a person who enjoys a style of dancing to rock music involving head-shaking and rapid bending movements (known as headbanging). Etymology: Formed on headbanging, which in turn is a descriptive name for the dance; the rapid bending and head-shaking look rather like a mime of banging one's head against a hard surface (and in fact there is some suggestion that the early followers of heavy metal actually did bang their heads against the amplifiers). There is also some confusion with the headbanging of the mentally disturbed: see headbangerý below. History and Usage: The term arose in the rock music context in the second half of the seventies, when heavy metal first attracted a large following. Although originally a dismissive nickname, headbanger has been adopted by some of the fans themselves, who use headbanging to refer to listening to live rock music generally. Headbanging is also occasionally used as an adjective. Head bangers can find companionship in the mass suppression of individuality that is a heavy metal concert. Independent 28 Nov. 1988, p. 14 Only head-banging heavy metal groups such as Metallica and Guns'n'Roses serve the primary function of rock. Globe & Mail (Toronto) 27 May 1989, section D, p. 5 Headbangers get a chance. We have a fantastic competition for all you heavy metal fans out there...Ten lucky readers will win a double pass to see Skid Row. Sun (Brisbane) 23 Apr. 1990, p. 4

headbangerý noun Also written head banger or head-banger (Politics) (Youth Culture) In young people's slang: a deranged or stupid person; a lunatic or idiot. Hence in political contexts: a person with very extreme political views; someone whose ideas and policies seem 'over the top' (see OTT). Etymology: Adopted from psychological jargon, in which a headbanger is a child who engages in rhythmic rocking and banging its head against the cot or walls as a comfort mechanism (often as a sign of boredom, neglect, or stress), or an adult who is severely disturbed and shows stress by engaging in similar activity. As a young people's term of abuse it relies more on stereotyped notions of the behaviour of 'lunatics' than on knowledge of psychology. History and Usage: Long in spoken use (especially, it seems, in Glasgow) as a general term of abuse, headbanger has acquired a wider currency in the late seventies and eighties as a result of its use in the newspapers to refer to extremist politicians of the Left and the Right. Headbanging in this sense means any militant political extremism. If he was to resign from Monday morning's interview...It was a while since he had been carpeted...Old Milne was a bit of a headbanger but apart from that. James Kelman Disaffection (1989), p. 84 Other drivers spoke about a 'headbanger' and the driving as 'absolute madness'. The Times 6 Feb. 1989, p. 43 The Tories were always disliked by Christian Democrats for their selfishness and their mindless complacency. In the European Parliament, they sit alone with a few Spanish and Danish head-bangers, while the main conservative grouping excludes them. Observer 19 Feb. 1989, p. 13

headhunt transitive verb Also written head-hunt (Business World) To approach (a manager or other skilled employee who already has a job) with a view to persuading him or her to join another company in which a vacancy has arisen, especially when this approach is made by an agent or agency (a headhunter) specifically employed for this purpose by the company seeking staff. Also as an intransitive verb: to act as a headhunter; to engage in the process of executive recruitment known as headhunting. Etymology: The verb is back-formed from the action noun headhunting; this in turn is a case of a derisive nickname for the practice (also labelled body-snatching or poaching) which eventually became a semi-official term in business circles, losing even its metaphorical association with primitive peoples and the taking of heads as trophies. History and Usage: Headhunting originated in the US (the practice in the fifties, the name in the second half of the sixties), but was not at all widespread in the UK until the eighties, the term headhunter remaining a derisive slang term until then. Headhunt as a verb has a similar history--first used in the sixties, but entering a rather different register of usage after the early eighties. During the eighties it became common for senior executives who were unhappy in their jobs to offer their services to headhunters, so that the agency's job included finding jobs for individuals as well as individuals for jobs. He interviewed several people for the position but he did not find anyone suitable. Head-hunting seemed to be the next move. Jeffrey Archer First Among Equals (1984), p. 223 At 45, Peter Birch brought the average age of building society chiefs down by a good few years. Worse, he had not been born and bred in the 'movement', but was headhunted from outside. Money & Family Wealth Mar. 1989, p. 25

I can't afford an unemployed husband, and there isn't a headhunter in New York who'll talk to Wilder after one look at his curriculum vitae and his job record. Saul Bellow A Theft (1989), p. 6 hearing-impaired (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) see deafened heavy metal noun and adjective (Music) (Youth Culture) A style of loud, vigorous rock music characterized by the use of heavily amplified instruments (typically guitar, bass, and drums), a strong (usually fast) beat, intense or spectacular performance, and often a clashing, harsh musical style; a later development of 'hard' rock. Often used as an adjectival phrase to describe music of this kind. Sometimes abbreviated to HM or metal. Etymology: Both metal and heavy metal were used in William Burroughs's novel Nova Express in 1964: At this point we got a real break in the form of a defector from The Nova Mob: Uranian Willy The Heavy Metal Kid. The phrase was probably more influential when used again in Steppenwolf's record Born to be Wild in 1968, referring to the culture of the biker: I like smoke and lightning, Heavy metal thunder. In addition to the conscious quotation from these sources, the name may well be influenced by the harsh, metallic sound of the music and its heavy beat, or even by the leather gear with metal studs typically worn by heavy metal bands and their followers. History and Usage: The term heavy metal was first used to refer to rock music by the music press of the mid seventies, seeking a dismissive label for what was otherwise known as hard rock. Gradually, though, heavy metal acquired a respectable status as

a neutral term and came to be applied retrospectively to some of the groups formerly classified as hard rock (notably Led Zeppelin, who have come to be thought of as the founders of heavy metal). In the eighties the term was increasingly used adjectivally, and heavy metal proved to be one of the major strains of White pop music running alongside Black-inspired styles such as hip hop. The names of Heavy Metal groups like Deep Purple and Motorhead are inscribed on the back of his leather jacket. Daily Mirror 10 Apr. 1980, p. 12 New deal and line-up may give Girlschool new impetus in forest of macho HM bands. Rock Handbook (1986), p. 96 Heavy Metal band Skid Row will be performing at Brisbane's Festival Hall... Skid Row was voted best new band in the 1989 Hot Metal reader's poll and has worked with metal giants Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and Motley Crue. Sun (Brisbane) 23 Apr. 1990, p. 4 See also speed and thrash helpline (People and Society) see -line heritage noun (Environment) In environmental jargon: the sum of the natural and constructed surroundings which a nation can pass on to future generations (especially areas of outstanding natural beauty, architectural monuments, and sites of historical interest). Often used attributively, especially in: heritage centre, a multi-media museum celebrating local history and traditions; heritage coast, a stretch of coastline whose natural features are protected by law from destruction;

heritage trail, an organized walk or tour which takes in sites of historical or natural interest, often on a specific theme. Etymology: A straightforward sense development from the original sense of heritage, 'that which is or may be inherited'. History and Usage: The word has been used officially, in national heritage, to refer to architectural monuments (and especially 'stately homes' with their collections of art, antiques, etc.) since about the beginning of the seventies; heritage coasts were also first defined at about that time. It was not until the middle of the eighties, though--in the UK perhaps partly as a result of the creation in 1984 of English Heritage, a new Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England--that heritage began to be packaged and marketed as a commodity, a development which led to the name heritage industry for this aspect of tourism. At about the same time, renewed interest in the natural environment and green issues generally led to a greater emphasis on this aspect of heritage. Some writers add an adjective to make their intentions clear--cultural or architectural heritage for buildings, natural or green heritage for nature--but often both are implied, and a preceding adjective is not possible when heritage is used attributively. What significance does the renewed interest in a 'national', 'local' or 'industrial' past packaged as intrinsically 'British' by the relentless 'heritage' machine, have at such a moment?...Heritage may indeed be a growth industry. Art Feb. 1988, p. 28 The site will become an increasingly popular open air museum and a model of heritage interpretation. British Archaeology May/June 1989, p. 12 hero in a half shell (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) see Turtle herstory noun (Politics) (People and Society)

In feminist jargon, history emphasizing the role of women or told from a woman's point of view (so as to provide a counterbalance to the traditional view, regarded as being male-dominated); also, a piece of historical writing by or about women. Etymology: A punning coinage, formed by reinterpreting the word history (actually from Latin and Greek historia 'narrative') as though it were made up of the masculine possessive pronoun his and story, and substituting the feminine possessive pronoun her for his. History and Usage: The word was coined in the early seventies by militant feminists in the US, who had joined together to form an organization known as WITCH. In Sisterhood is Powerful (1970), feminist writer Robin Morgan wrote of the expansion of this acronym: The fluidity and wit of the witches is evident in the ever-changing acronym: the basic, original title was Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell...--and the latest heard at this writing is Women Inspired to Commit Herstory. Herstory remained effectively limited to feminist writing for some time, but during the eighties acquired a higher profile in general journalism. It is a word which has tended to annoy linguistic purists, who see it as an example of deliberate disregard for the rules of etymology; in a sense, though, this was the reason for its coinage--like wimmin, it was intended to shock people into thinking more carefully about male-dominated views of culture. A writer of herstory is sometimes called a herstorian. I have tried to write a herstory of the inner psychic meaning of the ancient religion. Peace News 2 Oct. 1981, p. 15 The television cameras overlooked the...herstorians...To the eye of the TV camera, the parade was a group of provocatively dressed gays.

New Yorker 13 July 1987, p. 17 In a series of hot back-flashes we get the 'herstory' so far. As luck would have it, the dead woman was a writer and reader of modern herstory. Sunday Times 24 Jan. 1988, section G, p. 5 heterosexism noun (People and Society) Discrimination or prejudice in favour of heterosexuals (and, by implication, against homosexuals); the view that heterosexuality is the only acceptable sexual orientation. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ism (as in ageism, racism, etc.) to the stem of heterosexuality, after the model of sexism. History and Usage: The word heterosexism was coined at the very end of the seventies in educational circles, when feminism and the gay liberation movement had succeeded in raising public consciousness about attitudes to sexuality enough to make some educators question the traditional assumptions passed on to children through the educational system. The adjective and noun heterosexist were coined at the same time. In a paper at the National Council of Teachers of English convention in San Francisco in November 1979, Julia Penelope summed up the feminist viewpoint: Heterosexist language, like so many of the social diseases that require radical treatment, must be understood to be, in and of itself, one of the few manifest symptoms of a thorough-going systemic corruption of human intelligence...Heterosexism...prescribes that the proper conduct for wimmin is passivity, servility, domesticity...heterosexuality as the only 'natural' sexual interest. By the middle of the eighties there was a lively public debate about the issues involved (both in education and in the general

area of discrimination on grounds of sexuality), and it was even possible to attend heterosexism awareness training. The linking of the Aids risk with gay sex added fuel to this debate: see Aids and homophobia. It is important to note that heterosexism does not always imply discrimination against homosexuals; often it is simply the assumption (regarded by many as justified) that heterosexuality is the natural state of affairs and the model on which a society should build. Even a non-sexist history may be its unquestioned, underlying assumptions; for example, that all women are motivated by an innate desire for men and marriage. Lisa Tuttle Encyclopedia of Feminism (1986), p. 143 The branch [of the NUT] also calls on the union to train members not to adopt 'heterosexism' that discriminates against homosexuals. The Times 1 Feb. 1990, p. 4 8.3 hidden agenda...

hidden agenda noun (Politics) A secret motivation or bias behind a statement, policy, etc.; an ulterior motive. Etymology: Formed by combining hidden in its principal figurative sense of 'secret' with agenda, a word which is increasingly used as a countable singular noun meaning 'a list of things to be discussed at a meeting' and hence also 'an individual issue needing discussion or action'. History and Usage: Like heterosexism, hidden agenda derives from the discussion of social issues in education; particularly during the late sixties and seventies there was much discussion of the concept of a hidden curriculum in schools, whereby pupils acquired a sense of social value or disadvantage from the prevailing attitudes rather than the subjects that were taught.

This concept was translated into that of the hidden agenda in political contexts, international relations, labour relations, etc. during the late seventies and eighties and this became a favourite phrase among journalists in the second half of the eighties. Hidden Agenda was even the title of a controversial British film dealing with the question of a 'shoot-to-kill' policy in Northern Ireland (see Stalkergate in the entry for -gate). There's family politics, sure, but our jobs are not being threatened...So when we get into disagreements there's no hidden agenda. Cambridge Chronicle (Massachusetts) 6 Mar. 1986, p. 13 Barrell's general programme is to point out the presence of a hidden political agenda in the strategies of a poem. Essays in Criticism Apr. 1990, p. 161 high-fibre (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see fibre high-five noun and verb (Youth Culture) In US slang, noun: A celebratory gesture (originally used in basketball and baseball) in which two people slap their right hands together high over their heads; often in the phrase to lay down or slap high-fives. Hence also figuratively: celebration, jubilation. intransitive verb: To lay down high-fives in celebration of something or as a greeting; to celebrate. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a five (that is, a hand-slap; compare British slang bunch of fives for a hand or fist) that is performed high over the head. History and Usage: The high-five was originally a gesture developed for use in basketball, where it first appeared among the University of Louisville team in the 1979-80 season;

Louisville player Derek Smith claims to have coined the name. By 1980 it was also being used widely in baseball, especially to welcome a player to the plate after a home run (and in this respect is similar to the hugs and other celebratory gestures used by British football players). Television exposure soon made it a fashionable gesture among young people generally; what ensured its eventual importation to the UK was its adoption by the Teenage Mutant Turtles (in the form high-three, since Turtles do not have fingers) as a jubilant greeting. All that touched off a wild celebration of hugs, high-fives and champagne spraying. USA Today 14 Oct. 1987, p. 1 A month has passed since the election and still Republicans and Democrats are high-fiving. Maclean's 2 Apr. 1990, p. 11 So with a flying leap and a double high-five the two teammates celebrated the start of a new season. Sports Illustrated Dec. 1990, p. 16 high ground noun (Politics) A position of superiority or advantage (especially one which is likely to accord with public opinion) in a debate, conflict, election campaign, etc. Etymology: A metaphorical use of a military phrase whose literal meaning is 'a naturally elevated area providing a strategic advantage to the side which occupies it in a battle'. History and Usage: The American writer Tom Wolfe attributes this figurative use to Lyndon Johnson in a speech about the US space programme in the late fifties, in which he supposedly said punningly that whoever controlled the high ground of space would control the world; however, although this was certainly the sentiment of his speech, it is not clear whether he actually used the phrase high ground. High ground really only became a

popular political catch-phrase in the eighties; it is used mainly by journalists to describe a position which gives an individual or party the greatest visibility or appearance of right-mindedness in a debate--a position which might or might not accord with any absolute notions of rightness. As such, it seems to fit in well with the excessively opinion-conscious politics of the eighties. Often it is preceded by an explanatory adjective such as moral, intellectual, or electoral. Her [Nancy Reagan's] seizure of the high ground in the fight against drug abuse has done much to reverse her immense unpopularity. The Times 9 Jan. 1987, p. 7 Why didn't he take the high ground, and argue in favour of universal state benefits and services as ends in themselves? Sunday Telegraph 30 Oct. 1988, p. 24 highlighter noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A marker which overlays a printed or written word with a semi-transparent, usually fluorescent, line of colour, leaving it legible but emphasized in the text. Etymology: Derived from the verb to highlight in the sense 'to make prominent, to draw attention to', by adding the agent suffix -er. Originally the word was in the respelt form Hi-liter, a US trade mark. History and Usage: The trade mark was registered in the mid sixties in the US, and by the mid seventies the word in its standard spelling was catching on as a generic term. Highlighters in a very wide range of fluorescent colours became available and proved popular for all sorts of business uses from marking important activities and engagements in one's Filofax to picking out new words and senses in printed sources for lexicographers. The verb highlight was reinvented as a back-formation in the sense 'to mark with a highlighter'; other derivatives include highlighting as a verbal noun.

Simply find the hidden words...and then circle or highlight them. Country Walking Jan. 1990, p. 16 'Bring me,' she cried, 'a highlighter.' She tinted the discrepancies between her text and the solicitor's in feverish, fluorescent yellow. Observer Magazine 25 Mar. 1990, p. 42 high-tack (Lifestyle and Leisure) see tack high-tech adjective and noun Also written hi-tech (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) adjective: Making use of or provided with technological innovations, especially microelectronics or computers; automated, advanced. noun: Technological hardware, automation; also, a style of sparse, functional design that embodies the modern technological ethos. Etymology: Abbreviated forms of high technology. History and Usage: The phrase started to be used as an adjective in the early seventies, when electronics began to affect consumer goods and the design of homes, taking over from the phrase with all mod cons (that is, modern conveniences). As a name for a style of design, high-tech only remained in fashion for a relatively short time; the adjective, though, and the associated noun in the sense of 'technological gadgetry' have remained very common throughout the eighties. So popular was the term in the early eighties that some considered it to have become more or less meaningless; it was also at this time that it acquired a jocular opposite, low-tech (which usually implied complete absence of technology). High-tech laid low: A ruptured $900 gasket dooms Challenger..., while a Soviet nuclear reactor at Chernobyl melts down.

Life Fall 1989, p. 26 The natural childbirth movement attempts to redress the 'high-tech' approach to childbirth. Dorothy Judd Give Sorrow Words (1989), p. 9 Among the hi-tech companies to have prospered is Microvitec, whose technological prowess enabled it to take off with the home and education computing boom for a placing on the USM. Intercity Apr. 1990, p. 35 Textbooks are unglamorous, low-tech. Times Educational Supplement 14 Sept. 1990, p. 19 himbo

noun (People and Society)

In media slang, a young man whose main asset is good looks, but who lacks depth and intelligence; the male equivalent of a bimbo. Etymology: Punningly formed on bimbo, by replacing the first syllable with the rhyming syllable him (the accusative form of the masculine personal pronoun he). History and Usage: A journalistic creation of the late eighties which probably has less chance of surviving in the language than bimbo, but is given motivation by the fact that bimbo is now overwhelmingly applied to women. (Compare bimboy at bimbo.) Sex was commonplace, from a Melanie Griffith look-alike stuffed into her gown like salami in spandex to the macho himbo who strutted the Croisette wearing a 16-foot python like a stole around his shoulders. Washington Post 29 May 1988, section F, p. 1 The recent spate of kiss-and-tell memoirs by various bimbos and their male counterparts, himbos, throws even

more doubt upon the matter. The Times 17 Oct. 1988, p. 21 hip hop noun, adjective, and verb Sometimes written hip-hop or Hip-Hop (Music) (Youth Culture) noun: A street subculture (originally among urban teenagers in the US) which combines rap music, graffiti art, and break-dancing with distinctive codes of dress and speech; more specifically, the dance music of this subculture, which features rap (frequently on political themes) delivered above spare electronic backing, and harsh rhythm tracks. adjective: Belonging to hip-hop culture or its music. intransitive verb: To dance to hip-hop music. Etymology: Formed by combining the adjective hip in its slang sense 'cool' with the noun hop, which also had a well-established slang sense 'dance'; hip-hop had existed as an adverb meaning 'with hopping movements' since the seventeenth century, but hip hop as a noun was a quite separate development. Its adoption as the name of the subculture and its music may have been influenced by the rap-funk catch-phrase hip hop, be bop, chanted by the disc jockey and rapper Lovebug Starsky in the form 'to the hip hop, hip hop, don't stop that body rock'. History and Usage: Hip hop originated among young Blacks and Hispanics in New York in the second half of the seventies but was first widely publicized at about the same time as break-dancing in 1982 or 1983. At first the name was used to refer to the assertive and showy culture as a whole, with its visible and flamboyant street manifestations; it was the music which was imported to other cultures, though, and in the UK the word has been used mainly to refer specifically to this since it became popular in British clubs in about 1986. Its popularity as a dance music has led to the development of the verb hip hop and the action noun hip hopping; someone who listens or dances to the music or follows the culture in general is a hip hopper. Like breakdancing, rap and hip hop in general flourished at street level despite overexposure in too many

'breaksploitation' films and a virtual end to exposure in the media. Washington Post 30 Dec. 1984, section K, p. 5 Those hip to the beat cats down at Streetsounds bring you the biggest and freshest names in American hip hop. City Limits 12 June 1986, p. 89 The look is squeaky clean. In its simplest form, the hip-hopper's kit consists of a hooded baggy top, tracksuit pants and training shoes. Observer 24 Sept. 1989, p. 37 hip house (Music) (Youth Culture) see house hi-tack

(Lifestyle and Leisure) see tack


abbreviation (Health and Fitness) Short for human immunodeficiency virus, a name for either one of two retroviruses (properly called HIV-1 and HIV-2) which cause a breakdown of the body's immune system, leading in some cases to the development of Aids. Etymology: The initial letters of Human Inmmunodeficiency Virus. History and Usage: HIV became the official name for the Aids retroviruses in 1986, after an international committee had looked into the proliferation of names resulting from research in different parts of the world (previously, the same retroviruses had been known variously as ARV: Aids-related virus, HTLV-III (or HTLV-3): human T-cell lymphotropic or lymphocyte virus 3, and LAV-1 and LAV-2: lymphadenopathy-associated virus 1 and 2). The US Center for Disease Control used HIV attributively in three of the six stages that it identified: the base state, HIV antibody seronegativity, involves no sign in the blood of exposure to HIV; HIV antibody seropositivity identifies the presence of antibodies; and HIV asymptomaticity refers to infection with the

virus which has not produced any signs of illness. (For the full list of stages, see Aids.) Colloquially, HIV is sometimes called the HIV virus, effectively repeating the word virus (but showing that many people are not aware of the expansion of the abbreviation), and HIV-positive is used as an alternative for antibody-positive (similarly HIV-negative). In the late eighties, confusion over the terminology of Aids (and in particular frequent reference to people who actually had only a positive report of HIV infection as 'having Aids') led to the development of the term HIV disease for the earlier stages. Most people with HIV infection feel entirely well and may remain so for years...Some may feel the time they 'seroconvert' (i.e. become HIV antibody positive). Allegra Taylor Acquainted with the Night (1989), p. 82 People with haemophilia who are HIV-negative should be able to get life insurance (though it may cost more). Which? Sept. 1989, p. 454 Channel 4's recent Dispatches programme, which repeated the arguments of (among others) molecular biologist Peter Duesberg to suggest that the HIV virus can't cause Aids, has caused outrage and concern among Aids specialists in Britain. Guardian 29 June 1990, p. 38 8.4 HM


(Music) (Youth Culture) see heavy metal

8.5 hog...


(Drugs) see angel dust

homeboy noun Also written home boy or home-boy (Youth Culture)

In young people's slang (especially in the US): a friend or peer, a member of one's own gang or set; hence (in the usage of adult outsiders) a street kid, a member of a teenage gang. Etymology: This is an example of the spread of common Black English expressions into White vocabulary, largely through the medium of rap (see also bad, def, diss, fresh, and rare). In Black English (especially among youngsters from the Deep South), homeboy was an established expression for 'a person from one's home town' and this was extended in Black college slang to anyone from one's own peer group or gang before being taken up by White youngsters as well, from rap lyrics and rap talk generally. History and Usage: The original use of homeboy for a person from one's own home town dates back to at least the late sixties, but this does not seem to have been extended to members of a peer group or gang until the development of the street culture of the late seventies which gave rise to break-dancing and hip hop. Interestingly it is also attested among Black youngsters in South Africa. The spread of the hip-hop culture to White youngsters in the US and the UK during the mid and late eighties ensured that homeboy became one of the more prominent 'new' American words of the second half of the decade. The female equivalent is a homegirl; in slang use, homeboy or homegirl can be abbreviated and altered, to home or homes (and even Sherlock, after Sherlock Holmes), homeslice, etc. It's sprayed on some of the 30,000 'home boys', or gang members of the 400 gangs who roam, pretty much at will in LA county. Listener 16 June 1983, p. 14 Having restrained my homeboys we walked away with dignity, but the whole posse was quite visibly in tears. City Limits 9 Oct. 1986, p. 52 Just when all my homeboys is just kickin' it, like we all go somewhere. Spectator 28 May 1988, p. 11

Who cares about its symbolism, homeboy and homegirl has one, why can't I? Vindicator (Cleveland State University) 10-24 May 1989, p. 2 The perfect person to speak to their largely minority a udience would be...a hip homeboy whose insecurities about making it in an Anglo-dominated world match their own. LA Style Mar. 1990, p. 116 homophobia noun (People and Society) Fear or dislike of homosexuals and homosexuality. Etymology: Formed by adding the Greek suffix -phobia (meaning 'fear' or 'dislike') to the first part of homosexual. The formation is objected to by some people on the grounds that homo- as a combining form would normally mean 'the same' (as it does in homosexual) or that the word was already in use in the sense 'fear of men' (see below). History and Usage: Homophobia was originally coined in the twenties in the sense 'fear or dislike of men', but as a hybrid formation mixing Latin and Greek elements (Latin homo 'man' and Greek -phobia) it did not really catch on. The impetus for a completely separate word based on homosexual rather than Latin homo and meaning 'fear or dislike of homosexuals' came from the gay liberation movement in the US in the late sixties, when consciousness of gay issues among the general public was being 'raised'. The term was popularized by American writer George Weinberg in articles published throughout the seventies, but did not reach a wide audience until the advent of Aids turned the phenomenon it described into a growing reality. A person who fears or dislikes homosexuals is called a homophobe; the adjective homophobic was derived from homophobia in the mid seventies. Some [homosexuals] even alleged darkly that a supposedly

homophobic Reagan administration was deliberately withholding money so that the 'gay plague' would wipe them out. The Times 12 Oct. 1985, p. 8 Each Wednesday night they attended the Gay Homeowners' Association meeting at the Unitarian church, and the pastor...asked, 'Has anyone experienced any homophobia this week?' Don Leavitt Equal Affections (1989), p. 24 'What part of your life would you recycle into another life?' 'Most of it, but not rottweilers, winebars, racists or homophobes.' George Melly in Marxism Today June 1990, p. 56 Hooray Henry (People and Society) see Sloane Ranger hopefully see basically hospice noun (Health and Fitness) A nursing-home dedicated to the care of the dying and the incurably ill. Etymology: A specialization of the word hospice, which originally referred to a house of rest for pilgrims etc., usually run by a religious order; by the end of the nineteenth century the word was used for any home for the destitute. The early hospices for the dying were mostly set up by religious orders too. History and Usage: The word hospice has actually been in use for a home for the terminally ill since the turn of the century, but did not become widely known in this sense until the rise of the hospice movement of the late seventies and early eighties, which led to the setting up of hospices in many countries as places where people could be given a caring environment in which to spend their last days.

Mother Frances is best known as the founder..., fundraiser and administrator of Helen House, in Oxford, England, probably the world's first hospice for dying or acutely afflicted children. Washington Post 30 Aug. 1985, section B, p. 1 He pays full tribute to his inspirer, Dame Cicely Saunders, who pioneered the hospice movement. Church Times 8 Aug. 1986, p. 7 hostile adjective (Business World) Of a take-over bid or proposed merger: against the wishes of the target company's management; predatory, contested. Etymology: A specialized sense of hostile in its figurative use, with an admixture of the literal meaning 'involving hostilities'. History and Usage: The term arose in the financial markets of the US in the mid seventies. It was the sharp increase in hostile bids in the first half of the eighties that led to the growth of devices such as the buyout, the Pac-Man defence (see Pac-Maný), and the poison pill. Greycoat making a hostile œ108 million offer for Property Holding and Investment Trust. The Times 26 Aug. 1986, p. 15 Mr. Segal insists that hostile takeovers, leveraged buyouts and forced restructurings--which he bundles together under the...label 'corporate makeovers'--are 'symptoms, not the disease'. New York Times Book Review 29 Oct. 1989, p. 32 -hostile (Science and Technology) see unfriendlyý host surrogacy

(Health and Fitness) (People and Society) see surrogacy hot button noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Politics) A central issue, concern, or characteristic that motivates people to make a particular choice (among consumer goods, political candidates, social structures, etc.). Etymology: Formed by compounding: the imagery is that of a particular spot or button that must be found and pressed to trigger off the desired responses in the people one wants to influence (an image that had existed before in the figurative sense of panic button, used in the phrase hit the panic button); hot here is used in the combined senses of 'current or fashionable', as in hot news and hot fashions, and 'tricky', as in hot potato. It has been suggested that the term might also refer to the physical buttons on interactive television controls, with which viewers can vote, for example to register their support for an entertainment act or for one of the sides in a debate. History and Usage: The expression hot button originated in the world of marketing in the US in the late seventies, when it was used to refer to the 'upcoming' desires of the buying public that the market would need to satisfy. It acquired a much wider currency when it started to be used in political contexts, though: before the end of the seventies it had been used as a synonym for hot-spot (describing Washington and Los Angeles as political hot buttons), but it was not widely applied to political issues of current concern (what the British might have called political hot potatoes) until the US presidential campaigns of 1984 and 1988. Since then hot button has become a political buzzword in the US, developing an attributive use as well (in hot-button issue etc.) in which it means 'central, influential, crucial'. The news-magazine [Newsweek], in the forefront of popularizers of this phrase, listed Republican hot buttons as the American Civil Liberties Union, abortion and guns. New York Times Magazine 6 Nov. 1988, p. 22

Randall Lewis...discussed the 'hot buttons' essential to catering to baby boom families. New York Times 25 Jan. 1990, section C, p. 6 In the recent Congressional elections, Senator Helms tried to make homosexuality the 'hot button' of his campaign. Gay Times Dec. 1990, p. 11 hothousing noun Also written hot-housing (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society) The policy or practice of artificially accelerating the intellectual development of a child by intensive teaching from babyhood. Etymology: A figurative use of the verbal noun hothousing. Literally, the verb means 'to cultivate in a hothouse'; in educational hothousing the children are treated as hothouse plants which can be 'brought on' by intensive education. History and Usage: The idea of hothousing in education is not especially new: in the early sixties A. S. Neill lamented the fact 'every child has been hothoused into an adult long before he has reached adulthood', and schools for gifted children which concentrated their education in the child's area of excellence were known as hothouse schools before the idea of intensively educating babies had been tried. The type of hothousing defined above, though, became fashionable in the US in the late seventies and eighties. The underlying principle was that any child could develop into a genius if only all the available time were used for education; using all the available time meant starting intensive training with flash-cards long before the child could talk or understand in the conventional sense what was being taught. The children subjected to this approach were called hothouse children. Their father...wanted to test the hot-housing theory; that if you subject a normally intelligent child to

intensive, specialised training in a particular discipline at a very early age, you will produce excellence. Observer 30 Oct. 1988, p. 4 hotline

(People and Society) see -line


noun Also written House (Music) (Youth Culture) A style of popular music typically featuring the use of drum machines, sequencers, sampled sound effects, and prominent synthesized bass lines, in combination with sparse, repetitive vocals and a fast beat; called more fully house music. Etymology: An abbreviated form of Warehouse, the name of a nightclub in Chicago where music of this kind was first played (see also warehouse). History and Usage: House was the creation of disc jockeys at the Warehouse in Chicago and was first played in 1985. It is designed for dancing, and so does away with meaningful lyrics in favour of complicated mixtures of synthesized sounds and a repetitive beat. For these purposes it proved very popular with club-goers and at warehouse parties when introduced in the UK in the late eighties, giving rise to large numbers of sub-genres mixing the features of house music with existing sounds: during 1987-9, following on from acid house, there was deep house (house with more emphasis on lyrics and showing the influence of soul music), hip house (mixing hip hop with house), ska house (house with Jamaican influences), and even Dutch house and Italian house. As a result of this, the term house has come to be used to refer generically to a whole range of sounds which share the characteristics mentioned in the definition above. House also contributed its own vocabulary to the language--for example, the verb jack in the sense 'move', as in the song titles Jack Your Body, Jack It All Night Long, etc. House is the mystifying music they call the key...House is meta-music, always referring outwards to other sounds, past and present. record sleeve of The House Sound of Chicago (1986)

It's huge...and last week it became official: The Gallup Top 40 showed that House or House-derived music is occupying the whole Top 5. Guardian 19 Oct. 1989, p. 26 8.6 ...

8.7 HRT


abbreviation (Health and Fitness) Short for hormone replacement therapy, a technique designed to relieve some of the unpleasant symptoms suffered by women during and after the menopause, by boosting oestrogen levels artificially. Etymology: The initial letters of Hormone Replacement Therapy. History and Usage: The treatment first became available in the late sixties and to begin with was usually known by its full name hormone replacement therapy; by the mid eighties it had proved very popular as a safe, long-term treatment for the worst effects of the menopause (in particular brittle bone disease), was widely promoted by famous or successful women who had benefited from it, and was generally known by the abbreviation HRT. Oestrogen therapy (HRT) for women is increasingly prescribed to stave off post-menopausal symptoms such as brittle bones, thinning and wrinkled skin, falling hair, loss of libido and energy. Sunday Express Magazine 11 Feb. 1990, p. 45 No one knows for sure which women should receive hormone replacement therapy. The official line is that it is necessary only for women who are at special risk of the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. But no one knows exactly who these high-risk people are, so many women

play safe and opt for HRT anyway. Practical Health Spring 1990, p. 11 8.8 HTLV, human immunodeficiency virus, human T-cell lymphocyte virus

HTLV, human immunodeficiency virus, human T-cell lymphocyte virus (Health and Fitness) see HIV 8.9 human shield...

human shield noun (Politics) (War and Weaponry) A person or group of people placed in the line of fire so as to fend off any kind of attack. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a shield made up of a human or humans. History and Usage: The idea of the human shield has been known for some time, and the phrase itself had appeared in print before the end of the seventies. In the late eighties, there was a concentration of uses in connection with the situation in Lebanon. The greatest concentration of all, though, came in 1990-1 with President Saddam Hussein's holding of Western citizens in Kuwait and Iraq, after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990; some of these people were transferred to military and industrial installations in order to dissuade Western forces from attacking. The human shield policy in Iraq was reversed in December 1990 and most of the hostages were allowed to return to their own countries, but the term human shield was by that time very familiar both in the UK and in the US, and continued to be used in news reports in relation to the holding of prisoners-of-war in the Gulf, and in other contexts. For example, when the Red Army arrived in Lithuania in mid January 1991 to seek out draft-dodgers there and take control of strategic buildings in Vilnius, Lithuanians were described as forming a human shield to defend those buildings. There is some variation in usage as regards whether it is the whole group of people who are thought of as forming a single human shield, or

whether each individual person is regarded as a human shield (in which case the term can be used in the plural). Thirty-nine right-wing French MPs arrived yesterday from Paris to join the 'human shield' around Gen Aoun, who also received the unexpected 11th-hour support of 6,000 'Lebanese forces', or Phalange militiamen. Financial Times 30 Nov. 1989, section 1, p. 4 Forty-one Britons and a number of other Europeans in Kuwait have been rounded up by the Iraqis, apparently as the first of the thousands of foreigners who were waiting last night to be made a human shield for military and other installations. Daily Telegraph 20 Aug. 1990, p. 1 Americans...reportedly were taken from the Mansour-Melia Hotel in Baghdad on the night of Oct. 29 and are now presumed to be 'human shields' at an undisclosed strategic site in Iraq. Washington Post 1 Nov. 1990, section A, p. 1 See also guestage human wave (Lifestyle and Leisure) see Mexican wave hunk

noun (People and Society) In media and young people's slang: a sexually attractive, ruggedly masculine young man; a male pin-up. Etymology: A figurative sense development of the noun hunk, literally 'a large piece cut off from something (especially food)'; in this case, the development arises from an assessment of the man in question entirely from the point of view of physique (as though he were a piece of meat), in response to the plethora of such words used by men about women. An earlier slang sense was 'a large (and clumsy or unattractive) person', but this sense is now normally covered by hulk.

History and Usage: First used by jazz musicians in the forties and popular with college students in the US in the late sixties, hunk had spread to various other parts of the English-speaking world (including the UK, Australia, and South Africa) by the end of the seventies. During the eighties it enjoyed a fashion among tabloid journalists, along with the adjectives hunky and hunksome. Jumping on the hunk of the month bandwagon is photographer Herb Klein with a 1985 calendar that gives you a different man every month. Fair Lady (South Africa) 26 Dec. 1984, p. 11 Michael Patton pranced his hunky bod around. Village Voice (New York) 30 Jan. 1990, p. 83 Girl fans will be seeing more of the the top...soap. News of the World 11 Feb. 1990, p. 5 hunt sab (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society) see sab 8.10 hype...


(Lifestyle and Leisure) see glitzy


prefix (Science and Technology)

In computing jargon: involving complex organization of text or other machine-readable media so that disparate sources are linked together and may be accessed simultaneously. Used especially in: hypermedia, a method of structuring information in different media (text, graphics, sound, etc.) for presentation to an individual user in such a way that related items of information are connected and presented together;

hypertext, machine-readable text that does not form a single sequence or come from a single source, but is so structured that related pieces of text can be displayed together. Etymology: The Greek prefix huper- 'above, beyond'; these approaches to machine-readable media go beyond the concept of searchability to present the user with a highly structured and interconnected resource. History and Usage: Hypertext and hypermedia are concepts which computer scientists have been working on since the sixties, but which were perhaps too far ahead of their time to gain much popular currency until the eighties. Then, with the general public becoming increasingly computer-literate and demanding ever more sophisticated sources of information, and the necessary hardware becoming ever cheaper to produce, hypertext and hypermedia (sometimes called multimedia) were presented very much as the next step after the database and the personal computer, CD player, etc. Because different types of data...can be tied together, hypertext and hypermedia are important in multimedia systems, where they can provide an innovative way to navigate the different data on a multimedia system. Daily Telegraph 9 Apr. 1990, p. 29 Two aspects of the Active Book transcend the most useful Filofax: hyperlink and multimedia. Independent 9 Apr. 1990, p. 18 9.0 I

9.1 ice...


noun (Drugs) In the slang of drug users, a crystalline form of the drug methylamphetamine or 'speed', smoked (illegally) for its

stimulant effects. Etymology: The name arises from the drug's almost colourless, crystalline appearance during the manufacturing process, like crushed ice. As one Australian newspaper has pointed out, the once innocent question 'Would you like some ice?', asked at a party, has taken on an entirely new meaning. In its prepared form, ice may be white, yellow, or even brown. History and Usage: The drug first appeared with this name in Hawaii, and by 1989 had spread to the mainland US. Like the smokable cocaine derivative crack, it produces a sustained 'high', is extremely addictive, and has a considerable street value. It is smoked through a glass pipe called an incense burner, but unlike incense it is almost odourless, and so can be smoked in public with little risk of detection. Older names in the US for essentially the same drug include glass and crystal or crystal meth. Like those smoking crack, ice users initially suffer weight loss and insomnia because of the stimulation effects. Daily Telegraph 3 Oct. 1989, p. 11 The ice problem is so bad that crack cocaine pales by comparison. The Times 7 Nov. 1989, p. 8 'However shit your life is, ice, at first, makes things better...' is how one addict of the new American horror drug ice, describes its effects. Sky Magazine Apr. 1990, p. 91 icon

noun (Science and Technology) In computing jargon, a small symbolic picture on a computer screen, especially one that represents an option or function that can be selected by moving the pointer and clicking (see click) on the icon.

Etymology: A specialization of sense: in its original sense an icon is any representation or picture of something (from Greek eikon 'likeness')--probably the best known examples are the religious pictures used in the Eastern Orthodox churches. History and Usage: The icon first started to appear widely in the early eighties, when computer manufacturers were trying to make computer screens more user-friendly to maximize on the rapid growth of the personal-computer market. The first icons typically allowed the computer screen to appear like a familiar desk-top, with the various files and tools available set out upon it in the form of small symbols (for example, a pile of index cards bearing a filename for each of the files which could be opened, a pencil or paintbrush for a program which could be used to 'paint' on the screen, etc.). The processes of computing were thus made to appear as similar as possible to the physical use of files, pencils, etc. and the need to use an unfamiliar command language was minimized. As the use of windows (see window°) developed during the eighties, whole windows of text could be 'shrunk' to the size of an icon so as to make room on the screen for other windows: the verb iconify and the adjective iconified were derived from icon to refer to this facility. In the late eighties, a series of sound equivalents for the icon was tried, with different audio messages representing different functions and operations. This concept was punningly named the earcon (reinterpreting icon as eye-con). Newwave software, shown here, is one of several that use represent different applications. The Times 8 Dec. 1987, p. 31 These 'earcons', a sound equivalent of icons, would tell the user how much memory is left, which task it is performing and how close it is to finishing. New Scientist 23 June 1988, p. 46 9.2 IKBS


(Science and Technology) see intelligent°

9.3 immune...


adjective (Science and Technology)

Of a computer system: protected against hacking or against destructive software devices such as the virus and worm. Etymology: A transferred sense of immune, which is normally used of a living thing in the sense 'able to resist infection'; compare INF. The Prolok system is actually a mixture of hardware and software protection. It is immune to the fiendish bit copiers. Economist 10 Sept. 1983, p. 71 immuno- combining form (Health and Fitness) The combining form of the adjective immune, used in a wide variety of medical terms associated with the immune system, especially: immunocompetence, the capacity for a normal immune response; also as an adjective immunocompetent; immunocompromised, having an impaired immune system, especially as a result of illness; immunodeficiency, immunodepression, a state of reduced immune defences in the body; also as adjectives immunodeficient, immunodepressed. History and Usage: All of these terms have existed in the medical literature for some time; all came to prominence in less technical sources as a result of the growth of Aids during the eighties and the attendant spurt of interest in the workings of the immune system. Immunodeficiency is most familiar to non-specialists as part of the name of human immunodeficiency virus (see HIV), the virus which has been associated with the development of Aids.

They were further down the road than Phylly was. They weren't as tough or as immunocompetent. Michael Bishop Unicorn Mountain (1988; 1989 ed.), p. 310 The categories of those who most need to take care--infants, the pregnant, etc--now include 'the immuno-compromised'. Guardian 13 July 1989, p. 23 impro

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A form of live entertainment based on improvisation and interaction with the audience. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating improvisation to its first two syllables. History and Usage: Impro has been a colloquial abbreviation of improvisation among actors for some time, but it was only after the publication in 1979 of Keith Johnstone's book Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre that impro as a basis for live entertainment was developed into a theatrical genre in its own right. In the second half of the eighties it became a popular form of fringe entertainment, allowing the audience to dictate the course of events by suggesting themes, developments, etc., and this idea was even incorporated into television shows. 'Impro' stands for 'improvisation' and 'impro' audiences stand for an awful lot. Independent 20 Dec. 1989, p. 25 The craze of 'impro' is spreading from the TV out into the public domain with the Canal Cafe Theatre putting on Improfest all this week. Evening Standard 21 May 1990, p. 38

9.4 incendiary device...

incendiary device (War and Weaponry) see device incense burner (Drugs) see ice inclusive adjective (People and Society) Of language: non-sexist; deliberately phrased so as to include both women and men explicitly rather than using masculine forms to cover both. Etymology: A specialization of sense from the original and dominant use, 'having the character of including'. History and Usage: The arguments for non-sexist language are as old as the feminist movement, but the name inclusive language became fashionable in the late seventies in the US and in the mid eighties in the UK. It has been used particularly in relation to the language of the Bible and of Christian worship, in which much of the imagery is masculine. In The Word for Us: the Gospels of John and Mark, Epistles to the Romans and the Galatians restated in Inclusive Language (1977), Joann Haugerud prepared the ground for inclusive language in Bible translations, expressing the hope that 'a taste of wholeness will encourage others to work toward providing a whole Bible in inclusive language', and an Inclusive Language Lectionary was published in the US from 1983. Although many churches have now adopted a policy of using inclusive language wherever possible, the move has not been well received by all members of congregations, especially when it means altering familiar words in the liturgy, hymns, etc. As in the first edition of An Inclusive Language Lectionary, the word 'God' is often used where the pronouns 'He' and 'Him' appeared before. US News & World Report 17 Dec. 1984, p. 70 'Inclusive language' does not have to mean replacing 'Almighty Father' with an (equally problematic) 'Almighty Mother'.

Janet Morley All Desires Known (1988), p. 5 incremental adjective and noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) In the UK, adjective: Of an independent local radio station: additional to the quota of broad-spectrum stations; belonging to a set of extra stations designed to provide for a small community or specialized audience. noun: One of these extra, specialist stations. Etymology: An increment is an increase or addition; the IBA chose to describe these planned stations as incremental in its report of 1988 (see below) because they were to operate in areas where a local radio service already existed, but provide increased minority-interest or specialist coverage, filling in the gaps in what was already available. History and Usage: The term was first used officially in proposals set out by the Independent Broadcasting Authority in December 1988, when the Home Office authorized the licensing of the first twenty such stations. Typically the incremental stations cater for a very local community, an ethnic minority within the community, or a special-interest group (such as devotees of a particular style of music), but all sorts of ideas have come out of the move, including a station broadcasting only travel and flight information from Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Baldwin suggests a doubling or slightly more of the current 75 franchises (52 stations and 23 incrementals, not all on the air yet) to 150-200. Management Today Dec. 1989, p. 59 Only in 1988 did the IBA bow to the pressure of unsatisfied groups of listeners and allow 20 'incremental' stations to form. KISSFM, the last of these to go on air, opens next month, offering dance music.

Daily Telegraph 8 Aug. 1990, p. 28 9.5 indie...


adjective and noun (Music) (Youth Culture) adjective: (Of a group or label) independent, not belonging to one of the 'major' companies in the popular-music industry; (of their music) unsophisticated, enthusiastically alternative in style. noun: An independent artist, group, or label; the style of music typically put out by independents. Etymology: An abbreviated form of independent. The word was first so abbreviated in the slang of the US film industry in the forties to refer to independent film producers; the world of pop music has simply adopted the word from there. History and Usage: Although the word was used in the popular-music industry during the sixties, it was not until the eighties that the contribution of independents was recognized as having led to a distinct style of music with its own charts (the indie charts). This was also the point at which the word started to be used to refer to the character of the music rather than simply its mode of production. Once the status of indie was formalized in this way, though, the character of the music became more static and conventional. By definition, indie music is intended to have a minority appeal. Its followers have also sometimes been called indies or indie-kids. They're the only one of those indie-type bands that are trying to do something a bit unusual. Q Mar. 1989, p. 19 From their indie pop beginnings...The House of Love have...managed to transform their...critical acclaim into national popularity. Sky Magazine Apr. 1990, p. 28

Wed Hosted by Dave Booth, a mix of indie (Happy Mondays, Stone Roses) and jazz. Independent 23 May 1990, p. 31 INF

abbreviation (Politics) Short for intermediate-range nuclear forces; used especially in INF treaty, an agreement on the limitation of intermediate-range nuclear weapons, concluded between the US and the Soviet Union in 1987. Etymology: The initial letters of Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces. History and Usage: INF became the preferred US term for theatre nuclear weapons (previously known as TNF) in the early eighties, and the abbreviation soon began to crop up frequently in reports of disarmament talks. It was the INF treaty of 1987 which resulted in the removal of US cruise missiles from British bases such as Greenham Common, and which seemed to many people to mark the beginning of a new era in East-West relations in the late eighties. The abbreviation is sometimes preceded by a further qualification of the weapons' range: LRINF, longer-range INF; SRINF, shorter-range INF. A Soviet team touched down at Greenham Common yesterday to make a cruise missile inspection under the terms of the INF treaty. Guardian 17 Aug. 1989, p. 4 If the success of the INF negotiations can be carried into other areas of the nuclear armoury, then the INF Treaty will be seen as an important milestone. Steve Elsworth A Dictionary of the Environment (1990), p. 326


transitive verb (Science and Technology) Of a computer virus or other malicious software: to enter (a

computer system, memory, etc.); to contaminate the memory or data of (a computer). Etymology: A transferred sense of infect which extends the metaphor of the computer virus as a contagious 'disease' capable of replicating itself within an organism. History and Usage: The metaphor of infecting a computer system dates from the beginning of the eighties in the US, but became considerably more common in the second half of the decade, after the introduction of computer security hazards such as the virus and the worm. Systems which have had a virus inadvertently loaded into their memory (usually from a floppy disc), or the affected discs themselves, are described as infected; the noun infection exists for the process or result of loading, and also as a synonym for virus. Like a viral infection in living organisms, the computer virus may lie undetected in its host for some time, silently corrupting data in a succession of files before its effects become apparent. Viruses usually infect personal computers, spreading through floppy disks and copied programs. Clifford Stoll The Cuckoo's Egg (1989), p. 315 'It's pretty nasty', said Bill Cheswick, a computer science researcher at Bell Labs, who 'dissected' a version of the virus after obtaining it from the infected disk of a co-worker. Newark Star-Ledger (New Jersey) 13 Oct 1989, p. 14 The problem is heightened by the emergence of 'infections' which, for the first time, have been tracked to virus writers in the Eastern Bloc. The Times 1 May 1990, p. 3 info-

combining form (Science and Technology) A shortened form of information, widely used in compounds and blends such as:

infobit, a discrete piece of information or data; infomania, a preoccupation with or uncontrolled desire for information; the amassing of facts for their own sake; infomercial, a television or video commercial presented in the form of a short, informative documentary (the television equivalent of the newspaper's advertorial); infopreneur, a business person in information technology or the information industry; also as an adjective infopreneurial; infosphere, the area of activity concerned with the dissemination, retrieval, or processing of information, often by computer; the information industry; infotainment, a form of television entertainment which seeks to present factual material in a lively and entertaining way; docutainment (see doc, docu-); infotech, information technology. History and Usage: Info has been a popular colloquial abbreviation of information for most of this century, but it was only with the advent of information technology, increasingly influential through the seventies and eighties, that the combining form began to appear. All of the formations mentioned above except infotech are American in origin, and all except infosphere have entered the language only in the eighties. The infomercial is allowed only on cable and satellite television in the UK, and so is still relatively unknown. Info- (or infotech) is increasingly used in forming the proper names or trade marks of organizations, products, or services, as well as in one-off headings for newspaper columns and advertising copy (in which it competes with faxý): so we have infofile, infoline, infopack, etc. I am much impressed by the...old-fashioned qualities of greed and mendacity the world of 'infotech' displays. Listener 18 Aug. 1983, p. 34 American makers have used their knowhow to better

commercial ends...Other countries--Britain and West Germany particularly--have been inexplicably making life as difficult as possible for their own infopreneurs. Economist (High Technology Survey) 23 Aug. 1986, p. 15 The myriad factoids and ephemera and random infobits that are the common coin of daily business. New York Times 6 Dec. 1987, section C, p. 12 Both shows are halfway between hard news and current affairs, being more in the lifestyle/'infotainment' mould. Will this 'infotainment' train ever run out of steam? Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 23 Sept. 1988, p. 26 Now, in greater numbers than ever on independent stations and cable, comes...the half hour or hour that looks like a program...but isn't a program. Now comes the infomercial. Los Angeles Times 12 Mar. 1990, section F, p. 1 Inkatha noun (Politics) A Black political organization in South Africa, originally formed as a cultural organization in 1928 and revived as a Black liberation movement in 1975 under the Zulu Chief Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi. Etymology: From the Zulu word inkatha, a sacred head-ring and tribal emblem which is believed to ensure solidarity and loyalty in the tribe. The name is intended to symbolize cultural unity. History and Usage: Since its revival in 1975 as a Black national movement in South Africa, Inkatha has been open to all Blacks, although its following remains predominantly Zulu. It has featured increasingly in the news outside South Africa during the late eighties and early nineties, especially in relation to fighting among rival liberation movements there.

Fighting in Natal between sympathisers of the UDF and its ally, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, and Inkatha loyalists has cost more than 1,000 lives in the past three years, and is inimical to black unity. Guardian 17 Aug. 1989, p. 10 Local supporters of the ANC have been almost unanimous in calling for more rather than fewer troops as the local police force is seen as being biased in favour of the ANC's opponents, the Zulu Inkatha movement headed by Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Financial Times 3 Apr. 1990, p. 22 INSET

noun (People and Society)

Short for in-service training: term-time training for teachers in the state schools of the UK, statutorily provided for in teachers' conditions of service. Often used attributively (with a following noun), especially in INSET course and INSET day. Etymology: An acronym formed by combining letters from In-SErvice Training. History and Usage: The acronym was first used in discussion documents on teacher training written in the mid seventies. Provision for compulsory in-service training for teachers was officially made in the Teachers' Conditions of Service 1987, which stipulated that teachers were to be available for work on 195 days during the year, but that no more than 190 should be spent in teaching classes. The remaining days were to be INSET days (or non-contact days), during which training could be given. With the introduction of the Education Reform Act of 1988 and the national curriculum, INSET days were partly used as a way of introducing teachers to the new methods and procedures involved--these days became known colloquially as Baker days--but they also introduced the acronym INSET to a wider audience. At the moment, in-service training is a voluntary activity...but soon five days of INSET will be a statutory obligation.

Times Educational Supplement 19 June 1987, p. 18 insider dealing noun (Business World) The illicit use of confidential information as a basis for share dealing on the stock market; also known as insider trading. Etymology: Formed by compounding. In stock-market jargon, an insider is a person who is privy to information about a firm which would not be made available to the general public; insider dealing or trading is trading which is based on the confidential knowledge of insiders and is therefore one step ahead of the market. History and Usage: The term has been used in stock-market jargon since at least the sixties (and the practice for several decades before that). The debate on the moral issues involved and the need to make the practice a punishable offence became quite intense in the UK during the seventies, and the issue reached a considerably wider audience in the eighties as a result of the exposure and prosecution of a number of prominent individuals for insider dealing, both in the US and in the UK. A quick check shows that if you are caught for insider dealing in France, you are likely to get off more lightly than in Britain. So if anyone is accused of insider trading in Eurotunnel shares (which seems pretty unlikely on past performance), it will clearly pay to make clear that all the action took place on the other side of the Channel. Guardian 4 Aug. 1989, p. 14 Much spent these days on the criminal or near-criminal aspects of the decade's chicanery:...the insider trading of Boesky, Milken and others; the cowboy banking habits of Don Dixon. Nation 24 Dec. 1990, p. 818 intelligent°

adjective (Science and Technology) Of a machine: able to respond to different circumstances, developments, etc. or to 'learn' from past experience and apply this knowledge in new situations. Used especially of a computer or other electronic equipment: containing its own microprocessor, smart. Etymology: A transferred sense of intelligent, influenced by the term artificial intelligence (see AI); unlike the dumb machine which can only pass messages to and from a more powerful host and respond to specific instructions, the intelligent one can adjust its responses according to circumstance. History and Usage: The word has been used in computing since the late sixties, although Joseph Conrad had anticipated the concept as long ago as 1907 in his book The Secret Agent: I am trying to invent a detonator that would adjust itself to all conditions of action, and even to unexpected changes of conditions. A variable and yet perfectly precise mechanism. A really intelligent detonator. During the seventies and early eighties microelectronics began to be incorporated into a wide variety of consumer goods, bringing this concept of the intelligent machine into the public eye and giving the word a wide currency. Software systems can also be described as intelligent: an intelligent knowledge-based system (or IKBS) is similar to an expert system in that it stores the decision-making capability of human experts and can act on different data and developments on this basis, but it takes the principle of artificial intelligence one step further. The Japanese Fifth Generation computer project aimed at stimulating the development of the next generation of intelligent and powerful computer systems, has laid great emphasis on the importance of Intelligent Knowledge-based Systems (IKBS). Australian Personal Computer June 1985, p. 101 An intelligent masterkeyboard...allows control, via

MIDI, of up to eight synthesizers in all registrations. Keyboard Player Apr. 1986, p. 27 Gerald Ratner suggests that intelligent tills will generate up to 30 p.c. more profit at the Salisburys shops he bought recently from Next. Daily Telegraph 6 Feb. 1989, p. 22 It is an 'intelligent' scanner in that it learns the shape of letters in the text, and can recognise up to ten different type faces per text. English Today July 1989, p. 49 See also active intelligentý adjective (Environment) (Science and Technology) Of an office or other building: containing a full set of integrated services such as heating, lighting, electronic office equipment, etc., all controlled by a central computer system which is capable of ensuring the most efficient and sound use of the environment's resources. Etymology: A further development from the sense defined in the entry above: the environment is controlled by an intelligent computer system, but when this runs all services within the building, it is the building itself that comes to be described as intelligent. History and Usage: The first intelligent office buildings were built in the US in 1983 and by the middle of the eighties intelligent had become one of the buzzwords of office design both in the US and in the UK. It is difficult to say whether this further development of the adjective will survive in the language, but it certainly seems to express a design concept which is in keeping with the prevailing concern for integrated and efficient use of resources. One of Britain's most advanced high tech 'intelligent'

office developments, Northgate is nearing completion. Glaswegian Dec. 1986, p. 12 To a practitioner in the field of energy, 'intelligent buildings' involve energy engineering and building services, and suggest buildings whose facades, fabric and services combine (passively where possible) to optimise the environment and the consumption of energy. Architech June 1989, p. 43 intermediate-range nuclear forces (Politics) see INF intifada noun Also written intifadah (Politics) An Arab uprising; more specifically, the uprising and unrest led by Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied area of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, beginning in late 1987. Etymology: A direct borrowing from Arabic intifada, which literally means 'shake' or 'shudder': the metaphor is that of shaking off the yoke of an oppressor, a concept with a long tradition in Islam. History and Usage: The word intifada had been in use among Islamic groups (in the Lebanon, for example) before the Palestinian uprising of December 1987, but rarely appeared in English-language reports of events. After the beginning of the West Bank intifada, though, the word began to appear frequently and soon came to be used without a translation in some newspapers. The Palestinians have succeeded for the first time in bringing the intifada in the occupied territories within Israel's pre-1967 boundaries. Independent 14 June 1988, p. 12 Since the beginning of the so-called 'intifada', Israel has spared no effort to control and appease that uprising, with as little loss of life and injury as

possible. Harper's Magazine Sept. 1989, p. 71 The intifada in Gaza and the West Bank is in its third year. Now that we have started, we can go on for three years as well if we have to. The Times 22 May 1990, p. 9 intrapreneur noun (Business World) A business person who uses entrepreneurial skills from within a large corporation to revitalize and diversify its business, rather than setting up competing small businesses. Etymology: Punningly formed on entrepreneur by substituting the Latin prefix intra- in the sense 'within, on the inside' for its first element entre- (or by clipping out the middle part of intra-corporate entrepreneurship: see below). The result is a hybrid word made up of Latin and French elements, which many people would consider an ugly formation. History and Usage: The idea of intrapreneuring or intrapreneurship came from US management consultant Gifford Pinchot in the late seventies. At first he named the concept intra-corporate entrepreneurship, but by the mid eighties the shorter form was becoming established. The corresponding adjective is intrapreneurial; the view that employees of large corporations should be encouraged to use their skills in this way has been called intrapreneurialism. All of these words are still predominantly used in American sources, although the concepts have been tried in many developed countries. The belief that Japan is lacking entrepreneurs is wrong. 'If you want to set up your own business or go into a partnership, your path is blocked. So an entrepreneur becomes an 'intrapreneur'...Intrapreneurs set up the new business ventures. If a venture is a success, the company spins it off as a subsidiary. Business Review Weekly Oct. 1987, p. 158

A one day briefing on intrapreneurship: developing entrepreneurs inside Australian organisations. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 21 May 1988, p. 27 Not surprisingly, other parts of the IBM empire reacted jealously against the PC team and the kind of threatening 'intrapreneurial' behaviour that they were encouraged to adopt. Independent 21 Mar. 1989, p. 19 investigative adjective (Lifestyle and Leisure) Of a style of reporting used especially in television and radio (and also of those who use it): actively seeking to expose malpractice, injustice, or any other activity deemed to be against the public good; penetrative, delving. Etymology: A specialized use of investigative, which in its most general sense means 'characterized by or inclined to investigation'. History and Usage: The principle of investigative newspaper reporting, which would be so penetrative as to force public officeholders to take account of public indignation at any malpractice, was first established in the US by Basil Walters as long ago as the early fifties. However, investigative reporting only really came into its own in the US in the seventies (in connection with the Watergate scandal). In the UK, investigative journalism has been associated particularly with television and radio, with a whole genre of 'watchdog' programmes using the technique by the middle of the eighties in fields as diverse as consumerism and foreign aid. Amateurs and intellectuals should not play at the hard and dirty business of investigative journalism. Philip Howard We Thundered Out (1985), p. 66 It may be that...the contemporary 'investigative

reporter', in contemporary myth, and even by his own account, is inevitably a sort of scoundrel. New Yorker 23 June 1986, p. 53 Quality programmes such as drama and plays are expensive to produce, as is investigative journalism and high-standard current affairs and documentaries. Which? Feb. 1990, p. 84 See also pilger in vitro fertilization (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) see IVF 9.6 Iran-contra...

Iran-contra (Politics) see contra Irangate (Politics) see -gate irradiation noun (Environment) (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) The treatment of food with a small dose of radiation (in the form of gamma rays) as a means of arresting the development of bacteria and so extending the food's shelf-life. (Frequently in the longer form food irradiation.) Etymology: A specialized application of the standard sense of irradiation, 'the process of irradiating'. History and Usage: The technique of irradiation for preserving food is not new (it was discovered in the fifties), but the sale of irradiated food was the subject of considerable debate in the second half of the eighties, bringing the already emotionally-loaded words irradiation and irradiated into the public eye. 'Now we've got irradiation to worry about, too,' points

out Francesca Annis, shaking her head in disbelief that later this year it will become legal to 'zap' food with radiation, to kill off bacteria and prolong its safe shelf life. 'But nobody knows what the long term risks of eating irradiated food will be.' She Oct. 1989, p. 18 See also Dutching 9.7 Italian house...

Italian house (Music) (Youth Culture) see house it's more than my job's worth (People and Society) see jobsworth 9.8 IVF


abbreviation (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) Short for in vitro fertilization, a technique for helping infertile couples to conceive, in which eggs taken from the woman are fertilized with her partner's sperm in a laboratory and some are then reimplanted in the womb. (Known colloquially as the test-tube baby technique.) Etymology: The initial letters of In Vitro Fertilization; in vitro is Latin for 'in glass' (i.e. the laboratory 'test-tube'--although it is actually a small dish that is used). History and Usage: The technique was pioneered in the late seventies by British obstetrician Mr Patrick Steptoe. During the eighties it became available to larger numbers of women as one of the two principal means of helping infertile couples to have a child (the other being GIFT). IVF has been criticized on moral grounds because fertilized eggs (held by some to be living beings from the moment of fertilization) are necessarily wasted in the process, and also because of the high incidence of multiple births resulting from the technique.

The Hammersmith technique is one of several new off-shoots of IVF, originally designed for the one-in-10 couples who are infertile and of whom an estimated 25 per cent may benefit from IVF techniques. Guardian 19 July 1989, p. 27 Clinics are monitored by an interim licensing authority, which is concerned about the number of multiple births and says the Government is throwing away an opportunity to reduce the IVF death rate. Sunday Correspondent 6 May 1990, p. 3 See also ZIFT 10.0 J

10.1 jack...


(Music) (Youth Culture) see house

jack up jam

(Drugs) see crank (Music) (Youth Culture) see def

Jazzercise noun (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) The trade mark of a physical exercise programme normally carried out in a class to the accompaniment of jazz music. Etymology: Formed by telescoping jazz and exercise to make a blend, after the model of dancercise (a similar American invention of the sixties). History and Usage: Jazzercise originated in the US, where the trade mark was first registered in 1977, claiming a first use in 1974. The programme was invented in 1969 by Judi Sheppard

Misset, an American jazz-dance instructor, but only named Jazzercise some years later. Jazzercise was one of many physical exercise programmes competing for coverage in the fitness-conscious eighties: compare aerobics, Aquarobics, and Callanetics. Although protected by trade mark registration for Misset's programme of exercises, the word is sometimes used without a capital initial in the more general sense of any exercise done to jazz music. She wanted to know whether in the jazzercise routine done to the words 'I want a man with a slow hand' your hips bumped left or right on 'hand'. New Yorker 27 Aug. 1984, p. 36 Jazzercise, the keep-fit regimen for women of the '80s, should not be overdone...'Jazzercise is not a gruelling thing but it does provide the basis for a good fitness program.' Sun (Brisbane) 21 Sept. 1988, p. 17 10.2 jack...

jazz-funk (Music) (Youth Culture) see funk 10.3 job-sharing...

job-sharing noun Also written jobsharing or job sharing (Business World) (People and Society) A working arrangement in which two or more people share the hours of work, duties, and pay of a single post. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the sharing of a job. History and Usage: The idea of job-sharing has been discussed since the early seventies, but was rarely put into practice before the early eighties. In the campaign to attract more women back into the job market, job-sharing offers greater flexibility

than the traditional approach of one person, one job, but it requires considerable co-operation between the job-holders (or job-sharers). The verb job-share has been back-formed from job-sharing, and job-share is also used as a noun, for the post affected by job-sharing, in attributive phrases such as job-share scheme, or as a synonym for job-sharing itself. In the UK a programme of job-splitting (in which employers were given incentives for splitting full-time posts into two or more part-time ones) was tried in the mid eighties. John Lee...said at Jobshare's national launch in Manchester...the job-splitting scheme...had not been a big success. Independent 7 Apr. 1987, p. 5 Many are women who left teaching to have a family and have not returned. To attract them back there will need more flexible working hours (both job share and part-time), refresher courses and priority in the queue for nursery school places. Guardian 18 July 1989, p. 22 jobsworth noun (People and Society) An employee or official who upholds petty rules and bureaucracy for their own sake. Etymology: A contraction of the phrase 'it's more than my job's worth (not) to'--the supposed justification that such a person would give for petty insistence on the rule. History and Usage: A peculiarly British word, jobsworth has been in colloquial use since the early seventies. It was brought to greater prominence from the early eighties by television comedians; when, in September 1982, the well-known television consumer programme That's Life invented a jobsworth award (in the form of a gaudy commissionaire's hat) for the official who insisted on the silliest rule, its place in the language was assured. Introducing the award, Esther Rantzen said it was for 'the stupidest rule and the official who stamps on the most toes to uphold it', and Jeremy Taylor sang a song entitled

Jobsworth--actually composed some years earlier for a revue--in honour of its first presentation, to a council which would not allow a woman to erect a white marble headstone on her husband's grave. Andropov turned out to have learned nothing at all since, as the imperial governor-general in Hungary in 1956, he carried out the crushing of the Revolution; a bureaucratic jobsworth, his reign was as useless as it was mercifully brief. The Times 9 Mar. 1987, p. 12 Now, we all know park-keepers--'jobsworths' to the man. ('It's more than my job's worth to let you in here/play ball/walk on the grass/film my ducks.') Punch 20 May 1987, p. 47 I was suddenly accosted by a Jobsworth who uttered the classic words, 'You can't do that in here.' Personal Computer World Dec. 1989, p. 122 jojoba

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A desert shrub belonging to the box family, whose seeds contain an oil which is used as a lubricant and in cosmetics. Also, the oil which comes from these seeds. Etymology: The Mexican Spanish common name of the shrub Simmondsia chinensis. History and Usage: The word is not new to American English, but only became current among British English speakers as a result of a flurry of interest in jojoba oil from the mid seventies onwards, first as a substitute for sperm whale oil and later as an ingredient of soaps and cosmetics. The first cosmetics containing jojoba were marketed in the early eighties. The Renewer Lotion contains collagen, jojoba oil and a special firming ingredient to smooth and soften the skin and increase cell renewal.

Look Now Oct. 1986, p. 68 journo

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure)

In media slang (originally in Australia): a journalist. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating journalist and adding the colloquial suffix -o (as in milko for milkman, etc.). This suffix is particularly popular in forming Australian nicknames and colloquialisms: see also muso. History and Usage: In use for several decades in Australia, journo was popularized in the British newspapers from the mid eighties onwards, especially by the columnist Philip Howard. The word's popularity in the late eighties perhaps reflects the fashion for things Australian in the entertainment world generally; in particular, the ownership of many British newspapers by Australian tycoon Rupert Murdoch, and the fashion for Australian soap operas and television series, which have brought Australian forms of speech into prominence. You meet a better class of person there [at a girl's school] than egocentric journos. The Times 20 July 1984, p. 10 Compared to the excesses for which Fleet Street journos are traditionally noted, chocolate addiction seems positively virtuous. She Aug. 1990, p. 69 10.4 jukebox...

jukebox noun Also written juke-box (Science and Technology) In computing jargon, an optical storage device containing a number of CDs and a mechanism for loading each one as required for the retrieval of data. Etymology: A figurative use of jukebox; like the musical

version, the computer jukebox has a number of discs which the user can select and load at will. History and Usage: The technology for exchanging discs in a computer data store has been referred to in computing literature as the jukebox principle since the early sixties. However, it was the development of the optical disc as a storage medium in the eighties that made the jukebox a realistic possibility for ordinary businesses. The storage capacity is vastly greater than any other medium yet made available, and the jukebox mechanism makes for speed of access as well. One-and-a-half juke-boxes could store the names and addresses of every person in the world. Daily Telegraph 21 Nov. 1986, p. 15 A CD-ROM jukebox, about the size of a suitcase...holds up to 270 CD-ROM discs--the equivalent of 72 million pages of text. The Times 2 Mar. 1989, p. 36 Reflection Systems, formed in Cambridge last year, offers a deskside optical juke-box with two drives for users who need 47 gigabytes of data storage. Guardian 28 June 1990, p. 29 junk bond noun (Business World) In financial jargon (especially in the US): a bond bearing high interest but deemed to be a very risky investment, issued by a company seeking to raise a large amount of capital quickly (for example, in order to finance a take-over); a type of mezzanine finance. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the bond is dismissively called junk ('rubbish') because of doubt over the issuing company's ability to pay the interest from income generated by the assets purchased. History and Usage: The concept of the junk bond arose in the US

in the mid seventies. It became a particularly prominent feature of corporate finance there from the early eighties, associated especially with Michael Milken of investment bankers Drexel Burnham Lambert and with the whole financial ethos of leveraged buyouts (see leverage and buyout), mezzanine finance, and corporate 'raiders'. Debt incurred through the issuing of junk bonds is known as junk debt; finance based on them is junk finance. Mr. Milken told them it was time for some companies to de-leverage, urging many companies to swap their junk debt for a combination of equity and higher-grade debt. Wall Street Journal 18 Sept. 1989, p. 1 As Drexel Burnham fell, two warring junk-bond titans scrambled for their payoffs. Vanity Fair May 1990, p. 50 To Giuliani, the junk-bond monger's offense was to undermine the apparent 'integrity of the marketplace'. If people don't believe in this integrity, Giuliani said, they won't participate in the 'capital-formation system'. Nation 17 Dec. 1990, p. 755 junk food noun (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) Food such as confectionery, potato chips, and 'instant' meals that appeals to popular taste (especially among young people) and provides calories fast, but has little lasting nutritional value. Etymology: Formed by compounding: food that is junk from a nutritional point of view. History and Usage: The term junk food arose in the US in the mid seventies, when it became clear that young people in particular ate a high proportion of instant foods containing much carbohydrate (often in the form of refined sugars), and were not getting the balanced diet needed for proper nutrition.

This proved to be true of eating habits in other countries, too; the peak of concern about junk foods occurred in the late seventies and early eighties, before the health-and-fitness revolution of the eighties had started to affect people's diets, but both the phenomenon and the name have survived into the nineties. The term is sometimes used figuratively (compare fast-food). Blyton may be junk food but it's not addictive. The Times 12 Aug. 1982, p. 6 He's a pretty average kid...Likes junk food, noneducational TV, and playing with guns. Perri Klass Other Women's Children (1990), p. 5 With the demise of the traditional school dinner, more and more pupils are turning to junk food at lunch-times and unhealthy snacks at breaks. Health Guardian Nov.-Dec. 1990, p. 13 juppie

(People and Society) see buppie

11.0 K

11.1 K


abbreviation (Business World) (Science and Technology) One thousand (widely used as an abbreviation in computing and hence also in financial contexts, newspaper advertisements, tables, etc.). Etymology: The initial letter of kilo-, the combining form used to denote a factor of 1,000 in metric measurements such as kilogram, kilometre, etc. and to represent either 1,000 or 1,024 in computing, as in kilobyte etc.

History and Usage: The abbreviation K has been used in computing since the early sixties, especially to denote a kilobyte (1,024 bytes) of memory. Although, for technical reasons, K does not represent exactly 1,000 in this context, it was the computing use that brought the abbreviation to public notice during the seventies and early eighties (as computers became commonplace in most people's working lives in industrialized countries) and, at least in popular usage, established its meaning as '1,000'. In the late sixties, job advertisements for computing personnel would sometimes give the salary offered as '$...K' or 'œ...K', meaning '...thousands of dollars or pounds sterling'. By the early eighties this practice had been picked up in job advertisements outside computing as well; K also began to be used in place of the three zeros in prices of houses offered for sale etc. It was even possible to hear K in spoken use (unusual for an initial-letter abbreviation); this was associated particularly with the 'yuppiespeak' (see yuppie) of the mid eighties. Financial administrator, Thames Valley, from œ12k. advertisement in Daily Telegraph 26 Feb. 1986, p. 25 Alfa-Romeo--'84...Perf. cond. 23k ml. advertisement in Washington Post 31 Aug. 1986, section K, p. 24 I told him I had been approached by a cash purchaser with thirty-five k. Andrew Davies Getting Hurt (1989), p. 95 11.2 karaoke

karaoke noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A sound system with a pre-recorded soundtrack of popular music from which the vocal part has been erased so as to allow an individual to sing along with it, often recording his or her performance on tape or video. Also, the pastime of singing to this kind of system.

Etymology: A Japanese compound word which literally means 'empty orchestra'. The coincidence of two vowels which results from joining kara and oke makes the Japanese word even more difficult than most for English speakers to pronounce; some solve the problem by changing the first of these two vowels to /I/. History and Usage: Karaoke was invented in Japan and is extremely popular with Japanese business people visiting bars and clubs on the way home from work. It has a Western precedent in 'Music minus One', the recordings of classical concertos with the solo part missing which have been available for some years, and karaoke itself was successfully introduced both in the US and in the UK during the eighties (although not taken up with such popular enthusiasm as in Japan). The word is often used attributively, especially in karaoke bar or karaoke club (where karaoke is the main form of entertainment, with the customers themselves providing the cabaret) and in karaoke machine, the jukebox on which the accompaniments are recorded. The hotel people had provided a karaoke kit: a microphone and amplifier with backing tapes for amateur songsters. James Melville Go Gently Gaijin (1986), p. 16 Karaoke nights...on Fifth Avenue...are the hippest events in the entire city...A natural extension of the No Entiendes theme, which encouraged anyone with enough bottle to get up and perform, karaoke has attracted the cream of Gotham. Arena Autumn/Winter 1988, p. 183 The karaoke, or singing bar, is a few yards off Shaftesbury Avenue...The idea of the karaoke bar is very simple. You get roaring drunk, chat up the bar girls and sing maudlin popular songs, dreadfully out of tune. Daily Telegraph 19 May 1989, p. 15 They improve on the usual rugby songs by putting a lot

of effort into the singing, aided and abetted once a week by a karaoke machine. Evening Standard 19 Apr. 1990, p. 19 11.3 keyboard...

keyboard noun (Music) (Science and Technology) An electronic musical instrument with keys arranged as on a piano, and usually a number of pre-programmed or programmable electronic effects such as drum rhythms, different 'voices', etc.; known more fully as an electronic keyboard. Etymology: Formed by dropping the word electronic from the more formal name electronic keyboard. The word keyboard originally meant 'the row of keys on musical instruments such as the organ and piano'; the modern keyboard looks like a section of piano keyboard in a flat plastic casing. History and Usage: Although electronic keyboard instruments of one kind and another have been in existence since the early years of this century, the type now known as an electronic keyboard or simply a keyboard did not become available until the late seventies. Much more compact than the earlier electronic organ, the keyboard (which is really little larger than the depth and width of the set of keys) relies on microchip technology to produce a wide range of sounds and effects. Keyboards became popular and versatile instruments for pop and rock music during the eighties, especially with the development of MIDI, allowing several to be linked together. They were also heavily marketed as ideal instruments for home entertainment. A player of a keyboard is known as a keyboardist. Combine this with a virtuoso stick player and MIDI keyboards and you get organs, guitars, synthesizers, and lots of other different sounds. Dirty Linen Spring 1989, p. 15 Let's play keyboard video and the complete keyboard player book. Takes you through the initial learning

exercises to the complete keyboard player. Family Album Home Shopping Catalogue Spring and Summer 1990, p. 959 keyboarder noun (Science and Technology) A person who enters text at a keyboard, especially in typesetting or data capture. Etymology: Formed by adding the agent suffix -er to the verb keyboard, which was adopted in computer technology from well-established use in typesetting terminology. History and Usage: A word which has been used in the printing industry for some decades, but which has acquired a much wider currency with the spread of computer technology during the eighties. The word is now sometimes applied to anyone who works at a keyboard, whether or not this is part of a programme of data capture, and might eventually take over from typist as the typewriter gives way to the computer keyboard. Much of this work is performed by keyboarders who don't understand English. Fortune 4 Feb. 1985, p. 51 The standard of accuracy achieved by the keyboarders is outstanding. Review of English Studies Feb. 1990, p. 77 keyhole surgery noun (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) Colloquially, minimally invasive surgery, carried out through a very small incision, using fibre-optic tubes for investigation and as a means of passing tiny instruments into the tissue. Etymology: Formed by compounding: surgery done through a hole which is so small that it is likened to a keyhole.

History and Usage: Keyhole surgery, a technique that is dependent upon advances in fibre optics in the seventies and eighties, has been practised for about a decade, but the colloquial nickname belongs to the second half of the eighties, when it became possible to carry out what would otherwise have been major operations using the technique. Never an admirer of 'keyhole' surgery, I decided on liberal exposure of the problem. Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 1 May 1988, p. 28 The first operation in Britain to remove a minimal invasive surgery, or 'keyhole' surgery in popular jargon, was carried out in Portsmouth. The Times 17 May 1990, p. 20 keypad

noun Also written key pad (Science and Technology)

A small panel (either hand-held or attached to a larger keyboard) with an array of push-buttons which can be used to control an electronic machine such as a television, video recorder, calculator, or telephone. Etymology: Formed by compounding: keys arranged on a plastic pad (smaller than the board of keyboard). History and Usage: The word was introduced in the mid seventies in connection with teletext systems, and was soon also being used for TV remote-control monitors and the push-button controls which replaced dials on telephones. Many computer keyboards have a separate numeric keypad which can be used as a calculator, and may also have separate groupings of keys which act as keypads for selecting functions, moving the cursor, etc. Pressing the mute button on the keypad temporarily cuts off your caller. Sunday Times Magazine 28 Oct. 1984, p. 118 This new terminal has...a numeric keypad, a function keypad and a tamper-resistant pinpad.

Computer Bulletin June 1986, p. 3 11.4 kidflation...

kidflation noun (Business World) Humorously, economic inflation as it affects the price of children's toys and activities. Etymology: Formed by substituting the word kid 'child' for the first syllable of inflation. History and Usage: A humorous example of the inventive ways in which -flation has been tacked on to words as though it were a combining form since the late seventies; more serious examples included oilflation and taxflation (inflation caused by increases in oil prices and taxes respectively). The record and confection industries are among several that believe they have lost sales at the hands of 'kidflation'. When the recording industry, for example, fell into a slump in 1979, some industry officials said part of the reason was that the rising cost of albums was pushing them beyond the financial reach of young people. Wall Street Journal 2 Mar. 1981, p. 12 kidult

adjective and noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society) In US media slang, adjective: Of a television programme or other piece of entertainment: designed to appeal to all age groups; intended as 'family viewing'. noun: A piece of entertainment designed to appeal to children and adults equally. Also, a person who likes this kind of entertainment; an adult with immature tastes and interests.

Etymology: Formed by telescoping kid and adult to make a blend. History and Usage: The word was coined in the US as long ago as the late fifties to refer to the kind of adventure series that naturally appeals to a young audience but can be so designed as to attract a cult following among older viewers, too. The adjective remained popular with US television reviewers throughout the sixties and seventies (often with the implication that the programme so described was truly appealing to neither group, but fell between two stools), but only acquired any currency outside the US towards the end of the seventies. During the late eighties the noun acquired the secondary sense of the 'typical' viewer of kidult entertainment. Not a film for either children or adults, but for 'that new, true-blue American of the electronic age, the kidult, who may be 8, 18, 38 or 80'. New York Times 29 Jan. 1989, section 2, p. 30 kidvid

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure)

In media slang (originally in the US): children's television or video; a children's programme or videotape. Etymology: A clipped compound, formed by combining the rhyming parts of kids' and video. History and Usage: Kidvid has been an established slang name for children's TV in the US for more than two decades (it first appeared in a new words dictionary in the US in 1955 and is typical of the abbreviated nicknames created by the entertainment paper Variety), but has recently acquired a new lease of life in British use with the explosion of the UK video market during the eighties. In American English it is often used attributively (with a following noun), in kidvid programming, etc. An alternative form kideo (for children's video, often used in trade marks) only recently started to catch on outside the US, while in Australia another variation on the theme, kidflick (a children's film), was more successful. At the network he moved from the kidvids, those barely animated cartoons he is said to really love, to the

grown-up stuff. Listener 26 Jan. 1984, p. 11 Kids Vid, as the trade calls it, has suddenly become Big Business. The Times 27 Jan. 1986, p. 9 With the summer holidays in full swing there are plenty of 'kideo' videos available. Daily Express 20 Aug. 1986, p. 21 Ever since the early days of movies, the burning question has always been 'Is there a life after "kidflicks"?' Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 31 Jan. 1988, p. 24 The second Mom and Dad disappear, it's--click--on to the sugar-coated treats of commercial kidvid. New Age Journal July-Aug. 1990, p. 12 11.5 krytron

krytron noun (Science and Technology) (War and Weaponry) A kind of high-speed, solid-state switching device that is used in the detonation of nuclear weapons. Etymology: The derivation of the word is uncertain: the -tron element is almost certainly taken from electronic; the kryo could be a partial respelling of cryo-, or part of the word krypton. History and Usage: The krytron first appeared in technical literature in the early seventies and would no doubt have remained limited to technical use but for an incident in early 1990, when it appeared that American-made krytrons had been obtained by President Saddam Hussein of Iraq and a political

scandal ensued. For a short time the word was prominent in the media. Some forms of krytron can be bought commercially...The order aroused CSI's suspicions because it required krytrons of a specification which could only have a military use. The Times 30 Mar. 1990, p. 9 12.0 L

12.1 lab...


(Lifestyle and Leisure) see nab

lager lout noun (People and Society) In the UK: a young (usually affluent) man who typically spends leisure time drinking large quantities of lager or other beer as one of a group in a pub, and takes part in rowdy, aggressive, or boorish group behaviour. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a lager-drinking lout. This form takes advantage of the alliterative effect of two words beginning with l--a factor which gives it more popular appeal than the original coinage lager culture (see below). History and Usage: The idea originated with a speech by John Patten MP, then Home Office Minister of State responsible for crime prevention, in September 1988. Lamenting the increase in violence, especially in country towns which had formerly been thought of as quiet and peaceful, Mr Patten put the blame on affluent young men who would normally act respectably but had nothing better to do with their leisure time than drink too much beer. He described this as a lager culture and asked responsible citizens to help the police stop what he called 'lager culture punch-ups'. The form lager lout started to crop up in the newspapers about a fortnight after Mr Patten's speech; Sun

journalist Simon Walters claims to have been the first to make the transformation, although lager lout itself is often attributed to Mr Patten. The form lager culture has since died out, but lager lout continues to be used and has even been used figuratively and as the basis for an adjective, lager-loutish. Lager louts...may be educated into drinking at a much earlier age than executives in the alcohol industry believe. Independent 13 Dec. 1988, p. 17 I would ask you to dismiss the idea that this was lager-loutish behaviour. The Times 27 June 1989, p. 3 Having produced so many phoney dummies, the editor of the new lager-lout among 'quality' newspapers has only himself to blame. Private Eye 15 Sept. 1989, p. 6 lambada noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A fast and erotic dance of Brazilian origin, in which couples dance with their stomachs touching each other; also, the rhythmic music to which it is danced. Etymology: A Brazilian Portuguese word which literally means 'a beating, a lashing'. History and Usage: The lambada has been danced in Brazil for many years, but was suddenly taken up as a fashion in North and Central America in the late eighties, perhaps in response to the craze for 'dirty dancing' (after the film of the same title, 1987). Lambada became the focus of considerable media hype during 1989 and 1990, and was included in the title of a number of films and of a disc which reached the top of the charts. This media interest caused it to be popularized in the UK and Australia as well. A verb lambada also exists; so striking was the promotion and 'packaging' of the dance for the Western market that the whole process of taking world or ethnic culture

and marketing it in the West has been referred to as lambadazation. We were dancing the lambada face to face and sort of going up and down against each other. Sun 11 Apr. 1990, p. 3 First it was disco, then dirty, then lambada--whatever way you want to kick up your heels. Delaware Today July 1990, p. 46 LAN

acronym (Science and Technology) Short for local area network, a computer network (see networký) in which computers in close proximity to each other are enabled to communicate and share resources. Etymology: The initial letters of Local Area Network. History and Usage: The first local area networks were developed in the late seventies; by the early eighties, the acronym LAN was being used as a pronounceable noun in its own right. The LAN is most useful for inter-communication within a single business or department, giving a higher quality of service than the wider networks (see WAN) and at the same time enabling groups of computer users to share resources. LANs were therefore in extremely widespread use throughout the computerized world by the end of the eighties, sometimes linking electronic audio or visual equipment as well as text-handling computers. We've installed and continue to support a number of varied network environments--from LANS to WANS. New York Times 17 Oct. 1989, section C, p. 13 ETHERNET and Novell NetWare still dominate the local area network market. It seems IBM's Token Ring and Microsoft's OS/2-based LAN Manager have made little headway outside those bits of the corporate market with Big Blue-tinted glasses.

Guardian 28 June 1990, p. 29 Lance

noun (War and Weaponry) A short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile system designed to be used mainly with nuclear warheads; also, a missile used by this system. Etymology: A figurative application of a historic weapon-name. History and Usage: The Lance missile system was developed in the US in the sixties, for use by the US army. What brought it into the news in the eighties was controversy over its replacement in NATO after the conclusion of the INF treaty of 1987, which removed intermediate-range nuclear weapons from the European NATO armoury. The programme to develop a successor was written about as the follow-on to Lance programme and the weapon itself as the Lance replacement or Son-of-Lance. The cause of the controversy was the proposal to give this new weapon a longer range, bringing it near in range to the intermediate-range Soviet weapons being destroyed as a result of the INF treaty. In May 1990 the US announced its decision not to modernize the NATO Lance, after coming under pressure from Germany (where many of the old Lance missiles are based) to cancel the development plans. There is no intention of extending the range so as to run foul of the INF treaty. But the Soviet Defence Minister blurred this distinction by describing the Lance replacement as having a range of 'up to 500 kilometres', and being 'similar to the SS-23'. Should the Soviet Union go on destroying its SS-23s when Lance was being modernised, he asked rhetorically. Guardian 29 July 1989, p. 9 Better even than the B-2 as a symbol, the committee halted work on two mischievous missiles--the SRAM-T (air-to-surface) and the Son-of-Lance (surface-to-surface). Each of these was designed to fall barely beneath the distance ceilings of the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Boston Globe 3 Aug. 1990, p. 11 landfill noun (Environment) In full landfill site: a place where rubbish is disposed of by burying it under layers of earth. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating landfill site; the term landfill had been in use since the forties in the US for this method of disposing of rubbish, and since the sixties for the rubbish buried in this way. History and Usage: Landfill has been used as a method of waste disposal in developed countries for several decades; landfill site was first abbreviated to landfill during the seventies. In the mid eighties, the subject of landfills came into the news in connection with growing concern for the environment, especially when it was revealed that hazardous wastes had been buried in them, and that the land had in some cases been re-used for residential sites: see dumping. Manila's huge landfill at Tondo receives garbage from nearly two million people every day. Listener 12 July 1984, p. 16 Truck carrying 1,800 gallons of waste oil believed to contain cancer-causing PCBs was held at landfill pending tests. USA Today 18 Oct. 1985, section A, p. 5 landside (Lifestyle and Leisure) see airside laptop

adjective and noun Also written lap-top (Science and Technology) adjective: Of a computer: small, light, and usually not dependent on a mains power supply, so that it can be used on a person's lap. noun: A portable microcomputer designed to be used on a person's lap. (Short for laptop computer or laptop portable.)

Etymology: Formed by compounding, after the model of desk-top; normally one would not speak of the top of the lap. As ever-smaller computers were invented, the terminology was changed to keep up with them: successors to the laptop have included the lunchbox, the notebook, and even the palm-top. History and Usage: The laptop micro was first marketed in the US in the early eighties, and by the middle of the decade accounted for a sizeable proportion of microcomputer sales worldwide. Most models work on rechargeable batteries and are no larger than a small briefcase; one of their main advantages is that they can be used anywhere, whether there is a mains power supply available or not. By the second half of the eighties it was commonplace to see business people using them in a variety of public places, including trains, cars, and aircraft. Lap-portable is sometimes used as an alternative term for laptop. The Z-181 and Convertible are aimed at the real lap-portable market of journalists, academics, travelling salespersons and suchlike. Practical Computing Oct. 1986, p. 63 You don't have to be a genius to know that a laptop usually costs more than its equivalent desktop. Intercity Apr. 1990, p. 4 See also luggable laser angioplasty (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) see angioplasty laserdisc noun Also written laser disc, laser disk, or (as a trade mark) LaserDisc (Science and Technology) A disc on which signals or data are recorded digitally as a series of pits and bumps under a protective coating, and which is 'read' optically by a laser beam reflected from the surface; also called an optical disc or CD. In the form LaserDisc: the trade mark of software developed for the Philips LaserVision system.

Etymology: Formed by compounding: a disc which is both written and read by laser. History and Usage: The technology associated with the laserdisc was developed by Philips in the second half of the seventies (see CD and LaserVision). The name laserdisc started to be used more generally from the beginning of the eighties, contributing to the vogue for any new technology to contain the word laser in its name at this time. Any videocassette or laserdisc featuring the Premiere Recommends seal in its advertising has been approved by our editors with your home-viewing satisfaction in mind. Premiere June 1990, p. 142 A laser disk player, together with a computer, a monitor, and probably a printer, adds up. Smithsonian Feb. 1991, p. 24 LaserVision noun Often written Laservision (Science and Technology) The trade mark of a video system in which the signal is recorded as a series of pits and bumps on an optical disc and 'read' by laser; a type of CD video (see CD). Etymology: Formed by compounding, after the model of television and Cablevision (see cable television): vision made possible by laser technology. History and Usage: Laservision was developed by Philips during the seventies and first made commercially available in the early eighties as one of a number of videodisc formats competing for the CD video market. The quality of reproduction from the digital recording on compact discs is much higher than can be achieved using videotape; Philips went on to develop an interactive version (CDI: see under CD) which is designed to make this system more versatile in the age of multimedia. The CD-I Enabling Initiative will provide software tools

and a manual to help designers to transfer programmes from Laservision and computer format to CD-I, thus broadening the choice of courseware and helping to reduce its cost. Guardian 20 July 1989, p. 29 When I saw my first LaserVision demo, it was, in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, 'deja vu all over again'. The picture was sharp. Stereo Review Dec. 1989, p. 94 LAV

(Health and Fitness) see HIV

Lawsongate (Politics) see -gate 12.2 LBO...


(Business World) see buyout

12.3 leaderene...

leaderene noun (Politics) In the UK, a female leader. Etymology: Formed by adding to leader the otherwise unknown suffix -ene, possibly under the influence of the French feminine suffix -ine as used in the very similar Franglais word speakerine (for a female TV presenter), a word which caused heated discussion among French purists during the sixties and seventies. (Franglais also boasts le leader and le leadership among its political borrowings, but not leaderine.) History and Usage: The word was coined by Norman St John Stevas, then MP for Chelmsford, as a humorous nickname for Margaret Thatcher when she was Leader of the Opposition in the late seventies. The nickname proved very successful and continued to be used of her, usually with a capital initial,

throughout her period as Prime Minister (1979-90); it was a particular favourite of the satirical paper Private Eye. The usage also spread beyond its original limited context, and by the mid eighties was often used as a humorous word for any female leader, especially if she shared some characteristic with Mrs Thatcher. It will be interesting to see whether this extended use survives the end of Mrs Thatcher's leadership career. The British security services seem to be the out-and-out villains under their new leaderene, a Thatcher-like figure of absurd proportions. Listener 26 Apr. 1984, p. 33 In Finchley Central, part of the glorious leaderene's own constituency, there is only one policeman on patrol during the wee small hours. Private Eye 29 May 1987, p. 8 lead-free (Environment) see -free leading edge noun and adjective Usually written leading-edge when used as an adjective (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) noun: The forefront of progress or development, especially in technology; the 'state of the art'. adjective: Representing the most advanced technology; state-of-the-art. Etymology: A figurative application of a term that originally belonged (as a noun) to aerodynamics and aeronautics, where it was used of the forward edge of a moving object such as an aircraft's wing; the imagery here is of technology as a body moving constantly forwards, but with some aspects and designs further advanced than others and acting as a vanguard for future developments. History and Usage: The figurative use arose in the world of computer technology in the second half of the seventies, and

during the eighties was enthusiastically taken up by advertisers as a fashionable way of claiming their products to be in the forefront of design. In the UK the term leading edge was even chosen as the name for a chain of shops selling technological gadgetry and new design 'concepts'. An alternative term for the same idea, also popular with advertisers, is cutting edge. Three choices from the Burton Group's spring ranges. Sophisticated style from Principles...Leading-edge young fashion from Top Shop...Mainstream young fashion from Dorothy Perkins. Daily Telegraph 26 Feb. 1986, p. 13 The information systems available in the dealing room are quite astonishing for someone whose idea of leading-edge technology is teletext. Meridian (Midland Group) Spring 1990, p. 15 The company also puts out Gorgon, on horror movies, and Impact, on cutting-edge pop culture. Premiere May 1990, p. 96 lemon law noun (Business World) In the US, a law designed to provide some redress for buyers of faulty or substandard cars. Etymology: Formed by compounding; in US slang, a lemon is anything that is faulty or undesirable. History and Usage: The first lemon laws were passed in the US (as individual State Laws) in the early eighties, after much public discussion during the seventies of the high proportion of lemons among new and second-hand cars, and the impossibility of doing anything about their poor quality. The different laws passed for different States vary in their provisions, but all give the buyer of a substandard car some redress from the manufacturer or salesperson. There are now at least 42 variations on the three basic

types of 'lemon laws' among the states. To say the least, most manufacturers do not find such variation among the states encouraging. Legal Times 11 Apr. 1988, p. 19 Mr Forth, American Consumer Affairs Minister, has rejected demands from consumer organisations to adopt American-style 'lemon laws' for purchasers of cars. Daily Telegraph 24 Jan. 1989, p. 4 lens

noun (Health and Fitness) Short for contact lens: a small, very thin piece of plastic which can be worn inside the eyelid, in contact with the eyeball, to correct faulty vision; often in the plural lenses. Etymology: An abbreviated form of contact lens. History and Usage: Contact lenses were invented by Dr A. E. Fick of Zurich as long ago as the 1880s (when they were made of glass), but did not become available to the general public until the forties, and have only been widely worn from about the sixties onwards. The full term contact lens had been abbreviated to contact by the early sixties and to lens by the seventies; by the eighties it was nearly always abbreviated in colloquial use, although the full term remained in use among opticians. The technology has developed during the seventies and eighties to make several types available: hard lenses, the original type available to the public, are made of rigid plastic; soft lenses, made of a hydrophilic gel which is soft to the touch and moulds itself to the shape of the eye, were introduced in the sixties as less harmful to the cornea; gas-permeable lenses, which are more rigid but allow the passage of oxygen to the eye, were developed soon afterwards and became widely available in the eighties. The fact that contact lens became the slang name for a mixture of hallucinogenic drugs in the eighties is an indication that lenses are considered commonplace in modern society. Although many astigmatics can wear lenses successfully, prescribing and fitting them can be complex.

Which? June 1987, p. 272 These are extended-wear lenses...and people should be aware that they run a 20 per cent higher risk of bacterial infection. Woman's Journal Mar. 1990, p. 155 leverage intransitive verb (Business World) To speculate financially (or cause someone else to do so), using borrowed capital and relying on the profits made being greater than the interest payable. Etymology: The verb is formed on the noun leverage, which originally meant the action or power of a lever, but acquired a figurative use in the nineteenth century. In the 1930s a specialized meaning developed in US financial circles: the ratio of a company's debt to its equity, which could be used to maximize returns on an investment. Although leverage is normally pronounced /--/ in British English, the verb reflects in its pronunciation the specialized American sense of the noun from which it derives. History and Usage: Leverage was first used in US financial writing in the thirties, but remained limited to the technical vocabulary of finance for several decades. The increasing involvement of ordinary people in the stock market, as well as the adventurousness of investment generally, brought it into the public eye in the eighties, but it remains principally an American word. The verbal noun leveraging is used for the practice of speculating in this way; the adjective leveraged is applied to companies and transactions based on borrowed capital (see also buyout). In the late eighties, after a decade of leveraging, there was a widespread move to deleverage in the US and UK markets. The corporation discovered that the more it borrowed, the higher the earnings and the higher the stock, so it began to leverage. 'A. Smith' Supermoney (1972), p. 209

Safeway's announcement that it intends to deleverage itself via a $160 million public share issue was heralded as the start of a trend. Observer 18 Feb. 1990, p. 53 leveraged buyout (Business World) see buyout 12.4 lifestyle...

lifestyle noun and adjective Also written life-style (Business World) (Lifestyle and Leisure) In marketing jargon: noun: The sum total of the likes and dislikes of particular customers or a section of the market, as expressed in the products that they would buy to fit their self-image and way of life; a marketing strategy based on the idea of appealing to this sense of self-image and way of life. adjective: Using or belonging to this strategy of marketing; (of a product) fitting into or conceived as part of such a strategy, appealing to a customer's sense of lifestyle. Etymology: A specialized use of the compound noun lifestyle in the sense 'way of life', itself a concept of the sixties. History and Usage: The concept of lifestyle merchandising goes back to at least the beginning of the eighties, but was particularly in evidence in the second half of the decade, as advertisers attempted to cash in on and shape the demand for fashion goods, interior decorations, foods, and sports equipment that expressed the new awareness of lifestyle. In consequence lifestyle came to be used over-freely and imprecisely in marketing, sometimes ending up as an almost meaningless adjectival 'filler'. At the same time a movement in the very opposite direction, away from conspicuous consumption and consumerism, was also under way; this movement, influenced by A. H. Dammers' book Lifestyle, urged a simpler and greener lifestyle on Western societies. Both the consumers of yuppie

lifestyle products and the followers of this movement towards simplicity have been called lifestylers. Being a meat-free lifestyler on Gozo is no problem. Lean Living Feb.-Mar. 1987, p. 4 Creative talents in marketing have grasped the concept of lifestyle so insistently that it is changing the face of the high street, the commercials break, even the media. Creative Review Jan. 1988, p. 14 B & Q is targeting the 'lifestyle' market with...quick-drying acrylic tins featuring illustrations of country house interiors. Design Week 26 May 1989, p. 6 Swissair has gone life-style with its series of 'customer portraits' (would you buy a second-hand seat from this man?). International Management Mar. 1990, p. 60 lig

intransitive verb (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) In media and youth slang: to sponge or freeload; to gatecrash parties. Etymology: Lig was originally a dialect word corresponding to standard English lie, mainly in Scottish, Northern Irish, and Northern English dialects. It entered standard English in the early sixties in the general sense 'to idle or lie about' and was then adopted by media people in the more specialized meaning given above. History and Usage: This is a usage which arose in the late seventies, especially among journalists and entertainers, whose lifestyle involves accepting free hospitality of one kind and another. The word was popularized by media people themselves during the mid eighties. The corresponding action noun is

ligging; the word for a freeloader is ligger. [I] suddenly twigged what ligging was all about when I got my first job as a researcher on Aquarius. I found...I could get free tickets for everything, everywhere. Radio Times 6 Apr. 1985, p. 16 A penniless young man who begins in Trafalgar Square with nothing but a pair of underpants and ligs his way onward and upward with clean-cut charm. The Times 9 Apr. 1985, p. 8 Once the last lingering ligger has been escorted out, Dylan and his three piece band...shamble through on to the dimly lit stage. Q Dec. 1989, p. 64 light

adjective Often written lite in brand names (Lifestyle and Leisure) Of foods and drinks: containing few calories; especially, low in fat or cholesterol. Etymology: A specialization of sense arising almost entirely from the use of the word in advertising and brand names; the current use when applied to food and drink deliberately combines elements of a number of well-established senses. On the one hand, it is the food that is being described as light (in the same sense as one might speak of a light meal, or think of lager as light compared with bitter); on the other, it is the effect on the consumer that is at issue (implying that light foods and drinks will not make you fat and heavy). Light has been used of drinks (especially beer), as in light ale, to mean 'not strong' since the late nineteenth century (and in this sense is the opposite of stout), but in the 1980s this development moved one step further. The spelling lite in brand names reflects the same process as the one which produced nite from night. History and Usage: This is a usage which has become especially

common as a result of the prevailing fashion in the eighties for a low-fat, high-fibre diet and the consequent marketing of foodstuffs, drinks, and prepared meals specifically to take advantage of this. The first beer to carry the brand name Lite was launched in the late sixties by Meister Brau in the US; this became Miller Lite in the seventies and started to become very popular in the second half of that decade. Now, the word light (or lite) is often part of the name of a product, following a proper noun (as in the trade marks Meadow Lea Lite and Vitaquell Light margarines, Budweiser Lite beer, etc.)--a departure from the normal pattern of usage in English, where adjectives would normally precede the nouns they qualify, but consistent with a trend in the naming of products. In the US the word has also been applied to other consumables, such as cigarettes with a low tar content. Its idea of what makes a light beer light is that it contains 100 calories or less in a 12-oz serving. Marketing Week 29 Aug. 1986, p. 16 Polyunsaturated Meadow Lea Lite and Mrs McGregors Lite are reduced fat spreads with only half the fat and half the kilojoules of regular margarine and butter. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 28 June 1989, p. 29 line

noun (Drugs) In the slang of drug users: a dose of a powdered drug (especially cocaine). Etymology: So named because the powder is formed into a long trail like a line on a shiny surface, ready for 'snorting' through a straw or tube. An earlier use of the word in drugs slang was as an abbreviation of mainline, a main artery into which drugs such as heroin could be injected. History and Usage: A term of the late seventies and eighties, this word is rarely found in print but is apparently in common spoken use among drug users. Graffiti recently collected at the University of North

Carolina (Chapel Hill) include:...Cocaine is like a good joke. You can't wait for the next line. Maledicta Winter 1979, p. 276 [She] produced a six-inch ivory tube, sank to her knees and greedily did her lines, sniffing angel dust into each nostril. Roger Busby The Snow Man (1987), p. 21 -line

combining form (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society) A telephone service. (Usually as the second element of a compound name, the first part of which describes the purpose or target of the service.) Etymology: From the noun line in the sense 'telephone connection', perhaps with some conscious alteration of hotline (see below). History and Usage: A well-known early example of this use was the so-called hotline, or emergency telephone link, set up between the US and the Soviet Union in the early sixties. During the seventies some organizations offering help or advice, especially in emergencies, would call the service a hotline, but from the beginning of the eighties the first part started to be replaced by some other word describing the service. Any service that offered help and advice to people in difficulty was named a helpline, with hotline now reserved for matters of extreme urgency (although this apparently includes 'rushing' orders to mail-order companies!). Helplines devoted to particular types of advice are sometimes named accordingly--for example Aidsline for people with Aids, Childline for children in trouble or danger (especially as a result of child abuse), Parentline for parents who need advice about their children. The helpline which simply gives the caller a chance to talk over the problem with an anonymous helper is also often called a talkline. In the second half of the eighties there was public consternation over the high telephone bills run up by teenagers using a service called a chatline, which allowed them to take part in a conference call with other youngsters who just wanted a chat. In the UK, the familiar speaking clock has been renamed Timeline,

and a service allowing a business to pay for the calls made direct to it by prospective customers is known as Linkline. Many formations using -line are trade marks and are therefore written with a capital initial. Although Jenni seems to have the only official help-line in the country for battered husbands, there are other places where men can go for help. Woman 20 Feb. 1988, p. 13 The controversial telephone chatlines, withdrawn earlier this year after complaints about exorbitant bills, are likely to be allowed to resume in the near future. The Times 28 July 1989, p. 3 Since the beginning of 1988, 13 volunteers have run a 'telephone friendline' for latchkey children--youngsters who return to empty homes after school--in La Verne and San Dimas. Los Angeles Times 7 Sept. 1989, section 9, p. 8 The Wellington Parentline, a telephone advice service, has received 32 calls reporting violence from children towards parents. Independent 29 Jan. 1990, p. 8 linkage noun (Politics) The linking together of quite different political issues in international negotiations by declaring that progress on one front is relevant and necessary to progress on other fronts. Etymology: A specialized use of linkage in the sense 'connection, the act or process of linking together'. History and Usage: Linkage emerged in the US in the context of US-Soviet relations in the mid and late sixties, when it was used by senior White House officials in order to establish a link between nuclear arms control and general East-West

political relations; in practice, it became associated with the way that Cold War tensions were eased by a bargaining process in which one side made concessions in a given area in return for a promise on arms control or other concessions in a different area. Linkage remained an important concept in the seventies and eighties--as, for example, the US demand in 1987 for progress on arms control in return for Soviet movement on human rights and withdrawal from Afghanistan--but it acquired an especial currency after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, when Saddam Hussein and his allies sought unsuccessfully to place the Palestinian question firmly on the agenda for any negotiations about Iraq's withdrawal. Mr. Kissinger's version of d‚tente included a strategy of 'linkage' designed to deter the Russians from misbehaving. The idea was that Moscow would not risk the loss of favorable arms engaging in risky adventures around the world. US News & World Report 29 Mar. 1976, p. 17 Many speculate that the message carried by Hussein will only be a repeat of Saddam's call for Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories and Syria to leave Lebanon. The State Department has dismissed this proposal out of hand, calling it 'false linkage'. USA Today 16 Aug. 1990, section A, p. 2 liposuction noun (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) A technique used in cosmetic surgery in which particles of excess fat beneath the skin are loosened and then sucked out with a vacuum pump through a tube or cannula inserted into a small incision. Etymology: Formed from lipo-, the combining form of Greek lipos 'fat', and suction. History and Usage: The technique of liposuction was developed in the early eighties, principally as a means of removing unwanted fat which is resistant to dieting and exercise. Not

surprisingly, though, it was hailed by the media and the public-at-large as the long-awaited end to all dieting for those with a weight problem and little will-power. She says he recommended a tummy tuck for her overhanging stomach and liposuction for her legs, bra line and chin. New Age (Melbourne) 16 Aug. 1986, p. 25 The liposuction that promises to suck bodies into shape carries the risks of all general anesthesia. Philadelphia Inquirer 20 Sept. 1989, section A, p. 17 For a consultation fat reduction (Liposuction) call us on the number below. Vogue Sept. 1990, p. 432 listener-friendly (Lifestyle and Leisure) see friendly little devil (Drugs) see basuco liveware (Science and Technology) see -ware living will noun (People and Society) A document written by a person while still legally fit to do so, requesting that he or she should be allowed to die rather than be kept alive by artificial means if subsequently severely disabled or suffering from a terminal illness; a request for euthanasia. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a kind of will dealing specifically with an individual's understanding of what constitutes worthwhile living. History and Usage: The concept of the living will was first discussed in legal circles in the US in the late sixties; the coinage is claimed by an American lawyer, Luis Kutner. The

documents themselves acquired legal status in several States during the seventies, and by the end of the eighties most States in the US recognized them. In the UK there was little mention of the living will until the end of the eighties and the legal force of these documents has not yet been fully tested in the courts. Henry Campbell discovered he had Aids in 1984. That year, after two major bouts of pneumonia, he drew up a living will. Independent 18 May 1990, p. 19 12.5 LMS


abbreviation (People and Society) Short for local management of schools, a system set up by the Education Reform Act of 1988, providing for a large proportion of the financial and administrative management of state schools in the UK to become the responsibility of the governors and head teacher respectively. Etymology: The initial letters of Local Management of Schools. History and Usage: The Act set out the two basic principles of applying formula funding to all primary and secondary schools, based on the need to spend, and of handing over budgetary control to the governors of schools over a certain size; funding was to be linked to pupil numbers, giving schools an incentive to attract and retain pupils. It did not, however, introduce the terms local management of schools or LMS--these terms came in a Coopers & Lybrand report on the scheme, published in January 1988: The changes require a new culture and philosophy of the organisation of education at the school level. They are more than purely financial; they need a general shift in management. We use the term 'Local Management of Schools' (LMS). From here the phrase was taken up in a Department of Education

and Science circular, and soon became institutionalized. The idea had its origins in an experiment carried out in a village school in Cambridgeshire in the early eighties; at that time the scheme was known as Local Financial Management (LFM). The main consequence of LMS itself was that, for the first time, many schools' budgets would be controlled by the governors, who would also become the employer of all the school staff. The role of the head teacher centred on the day-to-day management of the school. Each Local Education Authority had to devise and submit its own scheme for approval; most had done this by 1991, but the Inner London schemes were left for approval and implementation later. The key to future waves of opting out...lies in the Act's provisions for local management of schools (LMS)...Heads and governors operating LMS will control 90 per cent of their budgets, increase their funds on the basis of the number of pupils they attract and have power to hire and fire staff. Daily Telegraph 23 Feb. 1989, p. 15 12.6 lock...


(Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) see break-dancing

logic bomb noun (Science and Technology) A set of instructions surreptitiously included in a computer program such that if a particular set of conditions ever occurs, the instructions will be put into operation (usually with disastrous results). Etymology: Formed by compounding: the equivalent of a time bomb, metaphorically speaking, except that it is a particular set of circumstances built into the logic of the program, rather than the passage of time, that will set it off. A similar set of instructions designed to be implemented on a given date is in fact called a time bomb in computing but the distinction between the two terms is not always clearly made.

History and Usage: The logic bomb is one of a number of malicious or even criminal uses of computing know-how that have been invented since computers became widely accessible and affordable in the second half of the seventies. It has been used as a way of destroying evidence of a computer fraud as soon as information which might lead to the culprits is accessed, as the basis for blackmail, and as a way for a programmer to take revenge on an employer by causing the system to crash mysteriously. If you damage someone's computer--whether by attacking it with a hammer or crippling the program with a logic bomb--it's...a crime. Independent 21 Sept. 1988, p. 2 Slip a logic bomb into the development software; it'll be copied along with the valid programs and shipped to the rest of the country. Clifford Stoll The Cuckoo's Egg (1989), p. 232 See also Trojan, virus, and worm loopy dust (Drugs) see angel dust lose one's bottle see bottle low-alcohol beer (Lifestyle and Leisure) see nab low observable technology (War and Weaponry) see Stealth low-tech (Science and Technology) see high-tech 12.7 LRINF


(War and Weaponry) see INF

12.8 luggable...

luggable adjective and noun (Science and Technology) adjective: Of a computer: rather larger than a portable; light and small enough to be carried short distances with some effort. noun: A computer which is not quite small enough to be easily portable. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -able to the verb lug 'carry (something heavy)', after the model of portable. History and Usage: One of a series of terms for different sizes of personal computer which came into the language during the first half of the eighties. Luggable was originally used to refer to the PC which had been made rather lighter than usual to allow it to be moved about from one location to another; as such, it was still in a distinct category from the portable laptop (which had an LCD screen and was not dependent on mains power). With the development of ever smaller computers in the second half of the eighties (see the examples listed under laptop) came smaller and lighter luggables--of about twenty rather than thirty pounds--without which the maufacturers would have been unable to compete successfully in the microcomputer market. The success of these 30lb 'luggables', as they are more appropriately known, owes more to their wide range of software...than to their ease of carting about. Sunday Times 26 Aug. 1984, p. 49 At a time when portables are getting smaller and lighter, IBM has come up with a mains luggable the size of a small suitcase and weighing some 20lb. PC Magazine July 1989, p. 46 lunchbox (Science and Technology) see laptop 12.9 Lyme disease...

Lyme disease noun (Health and Fitness) A form of arthritis which mainly affects the large joints, is preceded by a rash, and is thought to be transmitted by a bacterium carried by deer ticks. Etymology: Formed from the name of the town of Lyme, Connecticut (where the first outbreak occurred in 1975) and disease. History and Usage: Lyme disease, at first called Lyme arthritis in the medical literature, caused much concern in the US during the late seventies and eighties and was identified in British patients as well in the mid eighties. The ticks feed on small mammals and birds, and in their adult stage, on deer, but not all deer ticks are infected with Lyme disease. In order to become carriers of Lyme disease, they must first feed on an animal which already has the spirochete. Madison Eagle (New Jersey) 3 May 1990, p. 5 lymphadenopathy syndrome (Health and Fitness) see Aids 13.0 M

13.1 McGuffin...

McGuffin noun Also written MacGuffin (Lifestyle and Leisure) A device used in a film or work of fiction whereby some fact or activity seems all-important to the characters involved while actually only providing an excuse for the plot as a whole; the thing which absorbs the characters and misleads the audience in this way.

Etymology: The word was invented by the film director Alfred Hitchcock in the thirties in relation to the film The Thirty-Nine Steps; when interviewed by Fran‡ois Truffaut in the sixties, he claimed that he always liked to use a McGuffin in his films: The theft of secret documents was the original MacGuffin. So the 'MacGuffin' is the term we use to cover all that sort of thing: to steal plans or documents, or discover a secret, it doesn't matter what it is. And the logicians are wrong in trying to figure out the truth of a MacGuffin, since it's beside the point. The only thing that really matters is that in the picture the plans, documents, or secrets must seem to be of vital importance to the characters. To me, the narrator, they're of no importance whatsoever. The word itself may be derived from guff; it was apparently borrowed from a Scottish joke involving a man carrying a mysterious parcel on a train; but the joke may also be a McGuffin in its own right. History and Usage: Although Hitchcock had been using the word for several decades, McGuffin did not start to appear more widely in film criticism until the early eighties, when it suddenly acquired a more general currency, and was used to refer to the underlying impetus for the plot of novels and television series as well as horror films. There's a funny scene in which Wilder, looking for a gold coin--the film's McGuffin--ventures into the bathroom of a beautiful woman villain and encounters her in the shower. Sydney Morning Herald 27 July 1989, p. 14 Maddeningly, neither the deal nor its unmaking are anything but McGuffins in this misfiring comedy. Los Angeles Times 22 June 1990, section F, p. 6 McKenzie noun (People and Society)

In the UK, a person who attends a court of law to help and advise one of the parties to the case. Often used attributively, especially in McKenzie friend or McKenzie man. Etymology: Named after the case of McKenzie v. McKenzie (1970), in which the precedent was set for a non-professional helper to be allowed in court. History and Usage: According to the Law Reports on the case of McKenzie v. McKenzie, Any person, whether he be a professional man or not, may attend a trial as a friend of either party, may take notes, and may quietly make suggestions and give advice to that party. During the seventies these people were generally called McKenzies or McKenzie men in legal journals and the like, but the term had little currency outside legal sources. In the early eighties greater use was made of the precedent by people who wanted to do without legal representation or who could not afford it, and the terms started to appear in the newspapers; by the end of the decade the preferred form in this more popular usage was clearly McKenzie friend. Mr Dave Nellist, MP for Coventry South-East, said he intended to appear before Coventry magistrates as a 'McKenzie friend'. Daily Telegraph 24 July 1990, p. 2 13.2 mad cow disease...

mad cow disease (Health and Fitness) Colloquially, BSE. Etymology: So nicknamed because the disease affects the brain and central nervous system of the infected cows, causing them to stagger, fall down, or generally behave as though deranged.

History and Usage: For history, see BSE. Although only a popular nickname for the disease (originally popularized by journalists), mad cow disease came to be used in a number of reputable sources without inverted commas. It caught the popular imagination to such an extent that a number of humorous variations were coined during 1989 and 1990; most were one-off instances like the examples printed below, but mad bull disease (making use of the pun with the stock-market concept of bullishness) cropped up quite frequently in financial reports. Mad cow disease itself is sometimes shortened to mad cow. Fresh call for bigger 'mad cow' payouts. headline in The Times 6 Feb. 1990, p. 6 The process could be accelerated...with salmonella infection on the increase and the frightening spectre of mad cow disease crossing the species barrier. Health Guardian May/June 1990, p. 1 Fears are growing that the continuing--perhaps worsening--problems associated with mad cow disease could accelerate what many regard as an alarming drift from the land. Guardian 9 June 1990, p. 4 School BSE, or mad classroom disease, exists largely as a result of the ridiculous notion that a teacher's primary duty is to make lessons interesting. Daily Telegraph 21 June 1990, p. 14 What we have here is a bompin' stompin' monsta groova, a toe tanglin', heart manglin', floor fanglin' 125 bananas per minute of sheer joy--mad fruit disease in the area. Sounds 28 July 1990, p. 24 Madrid conditions noun (Business World) (Politics)

The set of conditions (laid down by UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the European summit held in Madrid in June 1989) for the entry of the UK into full participation in EMS. Etymology: Formed by compounding: conditions laid down at Madrid. History and Usage: Mrs Thatcher had claimed for some considerable time before the Madrid summit of June 1989 that the pound would join the ERM (the exchange-rate mechanism at the heart of EMS: see the entry for EMS) 'when the time is ripe'. It was in the Madrid conditions that she first stated explicitly when she thought that would be. The conditions covered five areas, the most important of which was that UK inflation must first be brought down to a level near to the average in other EC countries. In fact, when her Chancellor, John Major, took the UK into the ERM in October 1990, this condition had not been met--a circumstance which gave rise to much discussion of the Madrid conditions in the media. The other four conditions were that France and Italy should abolish exchange controls, that the single internal market of the EC should first be completed, that there should be progress towards a free market in financial services, and that competition policy should be reinforced. Last week the Chancellor, more cautious than the Foreign Secretary, but working with him, set out his stall. He stressed the importance of completing the 1992 single market and other Madrid conditions. Guardian 19 June 1990, p. 6 magalog noun Also written magalogue (Business World) A marketing publication issued periodically and combining features of the glossy magazine with characteristics of a mail-order catalogue. Etymology: Formed by telescoping magazine and catalogue (or, in the US, catalog) to make a blend. The same principle was followed in the formation of Specialog(ue), the trade mark of a type of specialized catalogue.

History and Usage: The magalog was an invention of US advertisers in the second half of the seventies which caught on in many other affluent countries during the eighties. Typically, the 'magazine' is issued free of charge to a limited number of people (cardmembers of a particular credit card, users of a mail-order house, etc.) or given away in another publication; the content is a mixture of editorial, advertorial, and straightforward advertising. Many magalogs are issued at regular monthly or quarterly intervals and are difficult to distinguish visually from a magazine (except, perhaps, for the absence of a price from the cover). GUS, the market leader in traditional mail order, is also responding to the new challenge. Next month sees the launch of Complete KIT, a fashion magalogue (its word), through W H Smith and associated newsagents. Daily Telegraph 18 Feb. 1988, p. 17 The products include bulletin boards, early learning books, post-it notes and reading aids. The Kids' Stuff magalog also contains editorial pages and teaching tips. It is mailed twice a year. DM News 15 Apr. 1988, p. 74 magnetic resonance imaging (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) see MRI mainline (Drugs) see line makeover noun Also written make-over (Business World) (Lifestyle and Leisure) A complete transformation or remodelling; specifically, the remodelling of a person's appearance (or some aspect of it, such as hairstyle), especially when this is carried out by a professional. Etymology: Formed by turning the verbal phrase to make over ('to refashion') into a compound noun. History and Usage: The noun makeover was first used in the late

sixties and by the seventies was not unusual in professional hairstylists' and beauticians' publications. It remained in relatively limited use until the end of the seventies, when it started to appear in magazines aimed at a wider audience; by the mid eighties it had become a part of the stock vocabulary of women's magazines, especially those which featured an opportunity for an ordinary reader to have her whole appearance and image rethought by experts, with markedly different 'before' and 'after' photographs. This was extended to all kinds of remodelling (for example, of interior decoration, houses, etc.) from the early eighties. The word was also taken up in the business world in a figurative sense from about the mid eighties: when a company is restructured by a new management, this is described as a makeover or corporate makeover, especially if the results seem only cosmetic. Mr Segal insists that hostile takeovers, leveraged buyouts and forced restructurings--which he bundles together under the...label 'corporate makeovers'--are 'symptoms, not the disease'. New York Times Book Review 29 Oct. 1989, p. 32 The make-over of California Cosmetics has worked. Although sales slipped...last year,...the company is now more profitable than ever. Financial Review (Sydney) 23 Feb. 1990, p. 48 We did this make-over for six ladies in the region. You know the sort of thing--you get an expert in to show them what they should wear. She Oct. 1990, p. 9 mall

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A covered shopping precinct, usually situated outside a town and provided with car-parking facilities and other amenities. Etymology: A mall has meant 'a covered or sheltered walk' since the eighteenth century; some towns have the evidence of this historical usage in the name of a particular street or

promenade, but this is usually pronounced /--/. The shopping mall is a specialized use of this sense. History and Usage: A well-established concept in North America (where they were first written about in the late sixties), malls were tried in the UK during the seventies, but with little success. In the eighties, however, increasing traffic congestion and parking problems in large towns, as well as the changeover to the megastore approach to shopping, meant that the mall became increasingly popular. In the UK the longer term shopping mall is still commoner than mall alone. Most striking is the way individually-designed shop fronts spill over into the malls themselves. Which? Aug. 1989, p. 406 The downtown Los Angeles car wash used in the original [film] was recently torn down and replaced by a mini-mall. People 19 Feb. 1990, p. 51 Telecommuting will also be promoted, along with no-go zones for cars, pedestrian shopping malls and park-and-ride schemes. BBC Wildlife July 1990, p. 456 management buyout (Business World) see buyout marginalize transitive verb Also written marginalise (Politics) (People and Society) To treat (a person or group of people) as marginal and therefore unimportant; to push from the centre or mainstream towards the periphery of one's interests, of society, etc. Also as an adjective marginalized; adjective and noun marginalizing; process noun marginalization. Etymology: Formed by adding the verbal suffix -ize to marginal;

the verb was originally formed in the nineteenth century in the sense 'to make marginal notes (on)'. History and Usage: Marginalization was originally a sociologists' term, in use from about the early 1970s. It was during the mid to late seventies that a number of interest groups and liberation movements (including feminism, Black power, and gay rights groups) took up the term to focus public attention on their causes, eventually turning it into one of the main social buzzwords of the eighties. Society, taking its lead from the media and its politicians, begins to reject a whole class and marginalizes them in the job market. Caryl Phillips The European Tribe (1987), p. 123 One of the many tales that we have been told is that there was once a homogenous national culture which is now under threat from multiculturalism, as if there was, is, or is ever likely to be, one tradition within England--not to mention the traditions within each of the marginalised nations in the United Kingdom. New Statesman 17 June 1988, p. 46 Although the curve of decline has been flattening gradually, it is not yet clear that the church's long years of marginalisation in our national life have been ended. Independent 29 July 1990, p. 20 market maker noun Also written market-maker or marketmaker (Business World) In the jargon of the Stock Exchange after big bang, a broker-dealer who deals in wholesale buying and selling, guaranteeing to make a market in a given stock; essentially the same thing as a stock-jobber before Big Bang. Etymology: Formed by compounding; the one who makes a market. The phrase make a market has been in use on the London Stock

Exchange since the turn of the century; the form market maker also already existed before the big bang, but was not an official term and was used pejoratively (see below). History and Usage: The word market maker is not new, but it has been used in a new sense in the Stock Exchange since the deregulation of 1986. Whereas the market maker of the turn of the century specialized in making a market by dealing in a stock to drum up interest in it, today's market maker simply guarantees to buy and sell a specified stock and so make the market available. The main business of a market maker consists in buying stock wholesale and then selling it on at a profit; this is essentially what stock-jobbers did before the distinction between brokers and jobbers was abolished in 1986. The activity of a market maker is market making; occasionally the intransitive verb market-make is also used. After last week's hefty fall on Wall Street there must be many in the City wondering if the London equity market will suffer bouts of guruitis...when the American market makers begin to extend their influence. Sunday Telegraph 13 July 1986, p. 23 Marketmakers are obliged to deal at the price shown on their screens. The Times 20 Oct. 1986, p. 25 mascarpone noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A soft, mild cream cheese from Lombardy in Italy. Etymology: A direct borrowing from the Italian name of the cheese mascarpone or mascherpone. History and Usage: Mascarpone, which is a relative of the better-known ricotta, has been written about in English since at least the thirties; for some reason it became a fashionable food in the mid and late eighties, cropping up frequently in writing for and by foodies.

Tiramis—, which means 'pick-me-up', consists of layers of espresso-soaked spongecake or ladyfingers, sprinkled with rum and slathered with sweetened mascarpone cheese. New York Times 8 Mar. 1989, section C, p. 3 Chef Leigh correctly detected a touch of horse-radish in the cream topping...but affected not to have heard of the other principal ingredient, mascarpone. The Times 17 Feb. 1990, p. 36 masculist noun and adjective (People and Society) noun: A person who upholds the rights of men in the same way as a feminist upholds those of women; also, a person who opposes feminism. adjective: Representing or upholding men's rights or masculine attitudes in general. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ist to the stem of masculine, after the model of feminist. The word masculinist had already been coined in the same meaning by Virginia Woolf in 1918, and is also in current use (although rare). History and Usage: The word was coined at the beginning of the eighties, after the feminist movement had radically altered the position of women in Western societies. The term masculism is also sometimes used for the men's rights movement or the attitudes that it enshrines, but it is considerably less common than masculist. What is claimed to be the first ever European petition for men's rights is to be handed in to the European Parliament by a new 'masculist' group...There are already some 20,000 militant masculists in Europe. The Times 20 Mar. 1984, p. 6 It does not matter if the cartoon is insulting to men. The number of such cartoons is so small that, set against the insults to women broadcast by every

newsagent and television channel, only a loony masculist would object to them. Guardian 23 Nov. 1989, p. 38 Phoebe thought that science in general was a crude product of masculist thinking, designed to separate knowledge and experience. Sara Maitland Three Times Table (1990), p. 93 massage verb and noun (Business World) transitive verb: To manipulate (figures, computer data, etc.) so as to give them a more acceptable or desirable appearance. noun: The action of manipulating figures or data in this way. Etymology: A figurative application of massage, which had already been used metaphorically in the sixties to refer to the 'touching up' of written material such as an official report. History and Usage: The business use of the word dates from the mid seventies, when the widespread application of computing to business statistics made data massage possible. During the eighties, the verb in particular became increasingly common, and it is now usually printed without inverted commas. In most cases, the activity is not actually fraudulent, but takes place on the fringes of legality and propriety as a way of putting the desired 'spin' on the data. Figures which have been manipulated in this way are described by the adjective massaged. He...uses the manipulated data to prove the link between money and prices...Professor Hendry's feat, however, is to take this heavily massaged data and show that not even such distortion can save the empirical support for Friedman's theory. Guardian Weekly 25 Dec. 1983, p. 9 The headline writers will be wondering endlessly about Mrs Thatcher's choice of an election date; with the drear descant that, if she delays, the figures for the

following year will have to be massaged all over again. Guardian 20 July 1989, p. 22 Numbers can be massaged by putting them in different places in the accounts...but it is difficult to manipulate them over several years. Business Apr. 1990, p. 59 See also creative max

noun and verb (Youth Culture) noun: In the US slang phrase to the max, totally, completely, to the highest degree. transitive or intransitive verb: In US slang, to do (something) to the limit; to excel, to perform to maximum ability or capacity, to peak. (Often as a phrasal verb max out.) Etymology: Max has been an abbreviated colloquial form of maximum since the middle of the nineteenth century, and there is some evidence that it was also occasionally used as a verb at that time. Both the phrasal uses result from the tendency for 'in' expressions to become fixed phrases among a particular group of people and then be picked up as phrases by outsiders. Out can be added to almost any verb in US slang: compare pig out and mellow out. History and Usage: The phrase to the max may have originated in US prep school slang in the late seventies, but is now particularly associated with the speech of young Californians. In the late eighties it started to appear in British sources as well, but is still a conscious Americanism. The verb max out has its roots in US prison slang, where it has been used in the sense 'to complete a maximum prison sentence' since at least the mid seventies. In the eighties, it was used in a wide variety of different contexts, including the financial (giving or spending to the limit of one's resources), the physical (for example, exercising to the limit of one's endurance), and cases in which it simply means 'to peak'. The phrasal verb is the foundation for an adjective maxed out, at the limit of one's abilities,

endurance, etc. In the past three years, 81 percent of those who've 'maxed out' on psychiatry (that is, exceeded the Blues' $50,000 lifetime limit on outpatient bills) have been from Washington. Washington Post Magazine 22 Nov. 1981, p. 28 Pop 1987 was choc-a-bloc with 'good songs', was human-all-too-human, warm and fleshy to the max. New Statesman 18 Dec. 1987, p. 36 On stage and in interview, Sandra Bernhard works her sharp tongue to the max. The Face Jan. 1989, p. 20 'We are maxed out. We are practically pushing the walls out', said Jane Marie Schrader, library director. Newark Star-Ledger (New Jersey) 14 Jan. 1990, p. 56 See also grody 13.3 MBO


(Business World) see buyout

13.4 MDMA


(Drugs) see Adam and Ecstasy

13.5 ME...


abbreviation (Health and Fitness) Short for myalgic encephalomyelitis, a benign but debilitating and often long-lasting condition which usually occurs after a

viral infection and causes headaches, fever, muscular pain, extreme fatigue, and weakness. Etymology: The initial letters of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. History and Usage: ME, which has also been known as post-viral fatigue syndrome or post-viral syndrome (because it so often follows a viral infection), or Royal Free or Iceland disease (after two famous unexplained outbreaks), has been the cause of considerable debate in the medical world since the late seventies. Although there have been documented cases of the symptoms associated with ME since the fifties, no definite cause could at first be found (some connection with coxsackieviruses was identified in the late eighties); it is really only during the eighties that ME was recognized as anything more than a psychosomatic condition by doctors and public alike. The syndrome tends to attack high achievers with a busy lifestyle, causing them to take months or even years to recover from what at first sight appeared to be no more than an attack of flu--hence the colloquial nicknames which have been applied to it, including yuppie flu. The abbreviation ME has been in common use since the early eighties. Post-viral syndrome, or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), is a mysterious illness, a chronic disease a generation of doctors dismissed as 'shirker's sickness'. Woman's Day (Melbourne) 4 Jan. 1988, p. 29 Maria-Elsa Bragg, 23, has been battling for more than two years against the mystery disease ME...The illness, full name Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, affects about 150,000 Britons, mostly women. Sunday Mirror 16 Apr. 1989, p. 9 My local bookshop has just given 'ME' (myalgic encephalomyelitis) the final seal of approval, its own shelf. British Medical Journal 3 June 1989, p. 1532 meat-free (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see -free

mechatronics noun (Science and Technology) A technology (originally from Japan) which combines mechanical engineering with electronics, mainly so as to increase automation in manufacturing industries. Etymology: Formed by putting together the first two syllables of mechanics and the last two of electronics. History and Usage: The word first started to appear in English-language sources in the early eighties in descriptions of Japan's pioneering work in the field. Often mechatronics involves developing robots to carry out very precise manufacturing tasks, and this is probably what most people in English-speaking countries think of as mechatronics, especially in relation to car assembly; however, the word can be applied to many different aspects of the manufacturing process. It is nearly always a way of reducing the human workforce, and is therefore an important economic consideration for any industry. Renault's contribution to the new generation of systems now being developed lies in three areas: 'mechatronics', communications and signal processing. Mechatronics embraces the use of the latest combination of electronics, mechanical and electrical engineering and allied technologies to develop new, functional systems for the auto industry. Scientific American Dec. 1984, section A, p. 14 Australia's leading roboticists are gathering in Perth this week...Our Mechatronics section next week will report on this important meeting. The Australian 13 May 1986, p. 23 An unattended operation requires the construction of a computer control system and the introduction of technology related to mechatronics and robots. The Times 20 May 1986, p. 32


(Business World) see ecu


noun Also written meejah or meejer (Lifestyle and Leisure) In humorous or dismissive use in UK slang: the media; journalists and media people collectively. Etymology: A respelling of media, meant to represent a common colloquial pronunciation of the word. History and Usage: A form which first cropped up in the early eighties, meeja (along with its variants) became increasingly common as the decade progressed. This was perhaps partly a result of public debate about the role of the media (especially the intrusion of journalists from the popular press into people's private lives), and the generally high profile of media 'personalities'. The British public, whose contempt for politicians rivals that for the meejer. Spectator 25 July 1987, p. 7 We aren't middle-class poor anymore, you know. I am part of the rich meeja. Janet Neel Death's Bright Angel (1988), p. 41


adjective (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) Colloquially, very large or important; on a grand scale; great. Etymology: From the Greek megas 'great'. The adjective was probably formed because the combining form mega- (as in megastar and megastore) was sometimes written as a free-standing element (mega star, etc.), which later came to be interpreted as a word in its own right. This process is not uncommon with Latin and Greek combining forms: see eco- and Euro-, and compare pseudo, which has been used as a free-standing adjective for several decades. History and Usage: Mega has been in colloquial use, especially

in the entertainment industry, since at least the beginning of the eighties. At first it was used mainly in variations on megastar and megastore (describing a person as a mega bore or a development as a mega project). By the middle of the decade it had also started to be used predicatively (as in 'that's mega'). In the business world, any transaction involving large sums of money (millions of dollars) can be described as mega; mega bid, mega deal, and mega merger are all in use, sometimes written solid (and therefore probably based on the combining form rather than the adjective). By the end of the eighties, mega had been taken up as a favourite term of approval among young people, with a weakening of sense to 'very good' (a similar story to that of great two decades previously). I was mega, but not mega enough for the job. New Yorker 25 Mar. 1985, p. 41 The insurance companies helped promote the industry as a whole with their mega launches and promotions. Investors Chronicle 8 Jan. 1988, p. 28 I got the gabardine there. I must say that I think that it's absolutely mega. I got it in Auntie Hilda's shop--for a quid. I'm afraid she doesn't have much concept of the value of stylish clothes. Guardian 3 Aug. 1989, p. 34 megaflop noun (Science and Technology) In computing jargon, a processing speed of a million floating-point operations per second. Etymology: Formed from the combining form mega- in its usual sense in units of measurement, 'a million times', and a 'singular' form of the acronym FLOPS, 'floating-point operations per second' (the s being dropped as though it were there to mark the plural form of a regular noun flop). History and Usage: A term which has been used in computing circles since the second half of the seventies, and is now also

found in less technical sources. A measure of the speed at which the field develops is that the computing world talks of today's supercomputers' speeds in terms of gigaflops (billions of floating-point operations per second), and tomorrow's in teraflops (trillions of floating-point operations per second). The Cray 2 has busted out of the 'megaflop' realm, where speed is measured in millions of 'flops'--floating-point operations per second. Its peak speed is 1.2 billion flops, or gigaflops. Business Week 26 Aug. 1985, p. 92 The TC2000 can have up to 504 processors, providing 9,576 mips (millions of instructions per second) or 10,080 megaflops (floating-point operations per second). Prices start at $350,000. Guardian 27 July 1989, p. 25 megastar noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A performer or media 'personality' who has achieved fame and fortune on a very large scale and enjoys the publicity and lavish lifestyle that go with stardom; a star who is considered greater even than a superstar. Etymology: Formed from the combining form mega- (from Greek megas 'great') and star. History and Usage: In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the entertainment industry produced stars; between the twenties and the seventies some were great enough to be called superstars; by the late seventies and early eighties, the next step on the ladder of increasing media hype was to call them megastars. Some of the ingredients of megastardom seem to be international renown, perhaps in more than one medium (especially films and television), great wealth and extravagance of lifestyle, and a vigorous publicity machine to keep the glitzy image in the public eye. The Australian comedian Barry Humphries, in his role as Dame Edna Everage, has done much to popularize--and at the same time to debunk--the concept of the megastar on television.

Elton--born Reginald Kenneth Dwight--did not, as Jagger and Lennon did, become a tax exile and disappear off into megastardom. Independent Magazine 11 Feb. 1989, p. 23 Sometimes, when I'm doing my shows, I see people in the audience slipping from their seats into a kneeling position and I say, 'Get up! Off your knees! Back into your seat!' After all, I'm just a megastar, no more than that. I'm frail. I have my weaknesses. Above all, I want to show my human side. 'Dame Edna' in She Oct. 1990, p. 116 megastore noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A very large store, usually situated on the outskirts of a town or city, provided with its own parking facilities, and often selling goods from its own factory direct to the customer. Etymology: Formed from the combining form mega- (as in the entry above) and store. History and Usage: The original idea of the warehouse-style megastore was that people could bring their own transport and buy furniture, do-it-yourself equipment, electrical goods, etc. direct from the manufacturer. This has been practised in the UK since the late sixties or seventies, but many such outlets were at first called warehouses. The name megastore was popularized throughout the world by Richard Branson's Virgin chain in the mid eighties, but this time it simply referred to a very large retail outlet. In the late eighties, the megastore in the US and the UK tended to be a large retail store bringing together many different kinds of goods under one roof. Walk into any of the new megastores now sprouting up--themselves a new way of consuming pop, a far cry from the listening booths or record counters of yesteryear--you will find an immense variety of music from the last forty years on offer.

New Statesman 4 July 1986, p. 26 Richard Branson...will arrive in Sydney tomorrow to open his first Australian 'megastore' next week...The store, at Darling Harbour, is billed as Australia's biggest record shop. Sydney Morning Herald 28 Apr. 1988, p. 6 mellow out intransitive verb In US slang (especially in California): to relax; to release one's tensions and inhibitions; to become 'laid-back'. Etymology: Formed by adding out to the verb mellow in its figurative sense 'to soften, become toned down or subdued'; as is often the case in these US phrasal verbs with out, there is strong influence from the slang use of the first word in another part of speech. In this case, mellow had been used as a fashionable adjective in Californian slang for several decades in the sense 'feeling good and relaxed after smoking marijuana': to mellow out is therefore to reproduce this feeling in oneself (though not necessarily by using drugs). History and Usage: The phrasal verb has been used in US slang since the mid seventies; during the eighties, American television series made it a familiar expression to viewers in other countries too, although most British English speakers would only use it in parody of Californian speech. The adjective mellowed out is also sometimes found. So prevalent is the word mellow in its various guises in Californian speech that in the late seventies the cartoonist Garry Trudeau coined the word mellowspeak to describe this particular variety of English; the word has survived and extended its meaning to any bland, laid-back, or jargon-ridden language. He's getting it all together at last, mellowing out (in the jargon). Susan Trott When Your Lover Leaves (1980), p. 75 'You told me on the phone that the highest rock climb

would be 15 feet.' 'Ah, I did?' he said in his most mellowed-out tones. 'Well, it was no problem, really, eh? You did fine.' Sports Illustrated 16 May 1988, p. 12 meltdown noun (Business World) A disastrous and uncontrolled event with far-reaching repercussions; especially in financial jargon, an uncontrolled rapid fall in share values, a crash. Etymology: A figurative application of meltdown in its nuclear physics sense, 'the melting of the core of a nuclear reactor'--an event which, once started, cannot easily be controlled, and which causes widespread destruction and contamination. History and Usage: This figurative sense arose in the US in the mid eighties after the Three Mile Island accident, and was reinforced by the near meltdown of a nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union in 1986. In the financial world, it was applied especially to the stock market crash of October 1987, when dramatic falls in share values on Wall Street had repercussions in all the world markets. Monday 19 October 1987 was given the nickname Meltdown Monday (but see also Black Monday). Meltdown is now used in more trivial contexts as well, with a weakening of meaning to 'slump, failure'. The rapidly growing international hotels group, Queens Moat Houses, yesterday asked its shareholders to dip into their pockets for the third time since Meltdown Monday, to help pay for further expansion. Guardian 17 Aug. 1989, p. 12 The Expos...suffered another meltdown and sank to fourth place. New Yorker 11 Dec. 1989, p. 74 Smarties-to-coffee giant Nestle disappointed chocoholics with a 5% meltdown in its half-way profits.

Today 15 Sept. 1990, p. 35 metal

(Music) (Youth Culture) see heavy metal

Mexican wave noun Sometimes in the form Mexico wave (Business World) (Lifestyle and Leisure) A rising-and-falling effect which ripples successively across different sections of a crowd; also, a similar effect in the movement of statistics etc. Etymology: The effect, which looks like a moving wave, was so named because it was first widely publicized by television pictures of sports crowds doing it at the World Cup football competition in Mexico City in 1986. History and Usage: The Mexican wave was apparently first practised (under the name human wave) by American football crowds in the early eighties; the crowd in the grandstand expresses appreciation of what is happening in the match by standing up one lateral section at a time, raising their arms, and then sitting down again as the next section rises. When this was done at Mexico City, it was seen on television by millions of people and later widely copied. The figurative use of the term is very recent, and perhaps unlikely to survive. Play was first delayed when another rendition of the Mexican wave, that mental aberration which cricket should long have discouraged, was accompanied by a confetti storm of torn-up paper. The Times 12 June 1989, p. 46 Unlike the crash in 1987 and the mini crash last October the Mexican wave effect, by which market movements sweep around the globe from Tokyo to Hong Kong to London to Wall Street, has failed to materialise. Guardian 26 Apr. 1990, p. 11 mezzanine adjective (Business World)

In financial jargon: representing an intermediate form of finance, debt, etc. between two more established or traditional ones. Used especially in: mezzanine debt, debt consisting of unsecured loans (intermediate between secured loans and equity), usually as a component of a management or leveraged buyout (compare junk debt at junk bond); mezzanine finance (or funding), either the financing of a leveraged buyout using subordinated or unsecured debt or, in companies financed by venture capital, the final round of funding before the company's public flotation (intermediate in seniority between the venture capital financing and bank financing). Etymology: A figurative use of mezzanine, which was originally a noun meaning 'a storey of a building between two others', but which was so commonly used attributively (in mezzanine floor etc.) that it came to be reinterpreted as an adjective meaning 'intermediate between two floors or levels'. History and Usage: The fashion for mezzanine finance arose in US financial markets in the late seventies or early eighties, and was widely discussed when financier Michael Milken of investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert persuaded institutional investors to take the risk of junk bonds in return for the high yield that they offered. In 1983 the Charterhouse Group launched a Mezzanine Fund specifically to provide the mezzanine finance for corporate buyouts. In some of its uses, mezzanine is simply a more official synonym for junk. Others, such as Seragen in Hopkinton, Mass., raised seed money easily but now find venture capitalists 'more discriminating' when investing in a 'mezzanine', or third, funding round. Scientific American June 1988, p. 92 The Citicorp fund will be dollar-based and provide mezzanine debt for deals led by the group both inside and outside the United States.

Daily Telegraph 16 Aug. 1988, p. 21 13.6 microwave...

microwave verb and adjective (Lifestyle and Leisure) transitive or intransitive verb: To cook (food) in a microwave oven; to be suitable for or undergo microwave cooking. adjective: (Of food or food containers) intended for cooking in a microwave oven; microwavable. Etymology: Formed by changing the grammatical function of microwave, originally the name of the type of electromagnetic wave which is passed through the food to cook it; by the mid seventies, though, it was already being used widely as a short name for a microwave oven. History and Usage: Microwave ovens were in widespread use in the US by the late sixties and in the UK by the seventies; the development of a verb meaning 'to cook by microwaves or in a microwave oven' was to be expected as soon as the cooker had become a standard household item, and in fact the earliest uses of the verb date from the mid seventies. The regular adjective for food which has been cooked in this way is microwaved. During the early eighties, a number of food and cookware manufacturers started to describe their products as microwavable (or microwaveable), but in speech most people described them simply as microwave; this informal use eventually also found its way into print and is occasionally used as a synonym for microwaved, too. He went to the pub and had a microwave mince and onion pie and crinkle-cut chips. Sue Townsend The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984), p. 59 When cooking or reheating: food should be very hot throughout--when you take it out of a conventional oven, or after standing times when microwaving, it should be too hot to eat immediately.

Which? Apr. 1990, p. 205 It was only last year that the F.D.A. learned that dioxin...was migrating from bleached paperboard cartons into milk and fruit juices and from microwave meal packages. New York Times 7 May 1990, section D, p. 11 middleware (Science and Technology) see -ware MIDI

acronym Also written midi (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Music) noun: An interface which allows electronic musical instruments, synthesizers, and computers to be interconnected and used simultaneously. adjective: Making use of this kind of interface, usually as part of a complete music system. Etymology: An acronym, formed on the initial letters of its official name, Musical Instrument Digital Interface. History and Usage: MIDI was invented in the US in the early eighties at a time when increasing use was being made of synthesizers in the world of music, both classical and popular. It was the introduction of this standard means of linking a number of synthesizers with a computer which made possible some of the most characteristic musical developments of the eighties: sequencers, sampling, and techno music generally depend upon the possibility of recording and remixing sounds and effects from electronic sources. What really brought the word MIDI into the high street, though, was the appearance on the market in the mid eighties of the MIDI system, a home music system which incorporates a programmable CD player and usually a whole range of other elements such as cassette decks, a stereo radio, a traditional record player, and amplification equipment. Some professional musicians already use MIDI connections to play several synthesizers at once from a single keyboard.

Newsweek 28 May 1984, p. 89 A typical midi system reproduces about 50% of the music on your records and CDs. Q Mar. 1989, p. 129 milk-free (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see -free mind-boggling see boggling minder

noun (Politics) (People and Society)

A person employed to protect a celebrity, politician, etc. from physical harm or from unwanted publicity. Also, a political adviser (especially a senior politician who protects a more inexperienced one from embarrassment or mistakes, for example in an election campaign); anyone whose job is to 'mind' another person and ensure that he or she does not overstep the mark. Etymology: A sense which has developed from the use of minder in criminals' slang since the twenties. A criminal's bodyguard or assistant was known as a minder, and this word has now simply been applied in a wider and more official context, perhaps under the influence of the very successful television series Minder (1979- ), about a petty criminal and his bodyguard, whom he hires out to 'mind' other people's property. History and Usage: Extended uses of the slang sense of minder started to crop up quite frequently in the press from about the mid eighties, usually with the word minder in inverted commas; within a few years the inverted commas had been dropped and minder seemed to have moved from slang into the standard language. Pop stars and other celebrities often employ a whole group of minders, as much to ward off the unwanted attention of journalists and inquisitive members of the public as to avoid physical harm. He goes out alone: unlike fellow multimillionaires like Prince, Madonna and Michael Jackson, he refuses to employ a minder.

Today 10 Nov. 1987, p. 20 The minder, Mr Simon Burns, Conservative MP for Chelmsford, directed all enquiries about the plans of Mr Nigel Lawson to the press office. The Times 30 Nov. 1988, p. 7 Her London lawyer and minder...had struck a deal with a British newspaper to reveal the secrets she has so far coyly refused to disclose. The Times 5 Apr. 1989, p. 7 mindset noun Also written mind-set (People and Society) In colloquial use: an attitude or frame of mind; an unthinking assumption or opinion. Etymology: A weakened sense of mindset, which was originally a more precise psychological and sociological term referring to habits of mind which had been formed as a result of previous events or environment and which affected a person's attitudes. History and Usage: This more general use of mindset became a fashionable synonym for attitude, starting in the late seventies in American journalistic writing, and spreading to British use as well during the eighties. The vogue made the more precise and original sense difficult to use, since many readers now think of mindset as being the same thing as attitude, rather than an event or condition imprinted on the psyche in such a way as to inform attitudes. The Kemeny report asserted that a change in 'mind-set', or mental attitude, was essential if nuclear safety was to be assured. Scientific American Mar. 1980, p. 33 The Western scientists noted the Chernobyl reactor had the best operating record of any in the Soviet Union and said the operators had got into a 'mindset' that nothing

could go wrong. Australian Financial Review 26 Sept. 1986, p. 39 The mindset of a Toronto Sun 13 Apr. 1988, p. 32 miniseries noun Also written mini-series (Lifestyle and Leisure) A television series, often dramatizing a book or treating a particular theme in a few episodes, and shown on a number of consecutive nights. Etymology: Formed by adding the combining form mini- 'small' to series. History and Usage: Miniseries originated in the US in the early seventies; by the mid eighties they were being shown in the UK as well and the word had become so common that it seemed any television series could be called a miniseries (even The Forsyte Saga was once described as one). The difference between a series and a miniseries is partly a matter of length and partly the screening of the miniseries in a tight sequence, with more than one episode on the same night or all on consecutive nights (although the usage has not always supported this distinction). It has become a preferred format for television dramatizations of novels and biographies. At this stage, a big budget movie rather than a television miniseries was in prospect. Listener 5 Jan. 1984, p. 10 The mini-series, which will be screened on Thursday and Friday evenings at 8.30pm, tells the story of Franciscan friar Padre Rufino who saved hundreds of Jews from the Nazis. Telegraph (Brisbane) 7 Aug. 1986, p. 43 minority briefcase

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Music) In dismissive US slang, the same thing as a ghetto blaster. Etymology: For etymology and history, see ghetto blaster. Maybe one day, just for the hell of it, I'll plug my mini-headphones into my minority briefcase, cruise down the street, and go find myself a watermelon. Transcript of Macneil/Lehrer Newshour, 28 Aug. 1986 MIRAS

acronym (Business World)

Short for mortgage interest relief at source, a scheme providing for people paying off house-purchase loans in the UK to have the tax relief on their interest repayments paid by the Government direct to the company providing the loan. Etymology: The initial letters of Mortgage Interest Relief At Source. History and Usage: The scheme, which was designed to simplify the system of tax relief, was introduced in 1983 to provide direct tax relief on the interest paid on loans of up to œ30,000 (or on the first œ30,000 of larger loans). At a time when the Government was keen to encourage home ownership, MIRAS made possible mortgages on a very high proportion of the purchase price of a house, since it was no longer necessary to find the full repayment and later reclaim the tax relief. Most people now get basic tax relief under the system known as MIRAS (Mortgage Interest Relief At Source). Under MIRAS, you pay a reduced amount to the lender and the Government makes up the difference. Which? Tax-Saving Guide March 1989, p. 26 mirror-shades group (Lifestyle and Leisure) see cyberpunk 13.7 moi...


pronoun Humorously (especially when feigning pretentiousness or false modesty): me, myself. Etymology: French for me. History and Usage: This has become a sort of humorous shorthand for pretentious reference to oneself in the late seventies and eighties, based on the obvious pretension of slipping into a foreign language. It was largely popularized through its use on television, especially by The Muppets (a children's puppet show created by Jim Henson), in which it was liberally used by the main female character, Miss Piggy. The theme was also taken up by a number of adult cult shows both in the US and in the UK. So Harry says, 'You don't like me any more. Why not?' And he says, 'Because you've got so terribly pretentious.' And Harry says, 'Pretentious? Moi?' John Cleese and Connie Booth Fawlty Towers (1988), p. 190 I think it's going to be a great advantage for Ventura and for moi...A methanol sign on the freeway will lead them to my station. Los Angeles Times 30 June 1988 (Ventura County edition), section 9, p. 6


adverb (Youth Culture)

In young people's slang, originally in the US: utterly, ultimately, extremely. Etymology: Formed by interpreting the (originally Italian) word mondo 'world' as an adverb, in attributive uses of phrases such as mondo bizarro (see below). History and Usage: In 1961 the Italian film director Gualtiero Jacopetti produced the film Mondo Cane, which was released in the English-speaking world in 1963 as A Dog's Life. Ostensibly a

documentary, it consisted of thirty sequences of such peculiar aspects of human behaviour as cannibalism and a restaurant for dogs, and became wildly popular: the original title became sufficiently well known for other films of an equally anarchic nature to be given similar titles (often with a mock-Italian flavour), such as Mondo Bizarro (1966) and Mondo Trasho (1970). During the seventies such formations became more common outside the cinema, with the meaning 'the weirder or seedier side of (a particular place, activity, etc.)': mondo bizarro began to be used attributively in the sense 'extremely bizarre', and mondo began to be reinterpreted as an adverb (and the following word as an adjective). The connotations of seediness or grossness persisted for some time, but by the time it had been absorbed into Valspeak in the early eighties it had become a simple intensifier, similar to serious--see seriousý--and likewise also sometimes used as an adjective. It was, however, the adoption of mondo by the Turtles that led to its spreading outside North America, predominantly in expressions of approval like mondo cool. It was just part of a week in which the news, particularly on ABC, went further and further into the realm of Mondo Bizarro. Washington Post 19 Apr. 1980, section C, p. 1 Last weekend Mom let me go visit her and stay in the dorm and everything. It was MONDO party time. Mimi Pond The Valley Girl's Guide to Life (1982), p. 49 Why this fascination with Miller? Because he's so mondo cool, even though he's not British and doesn't have spiked hair! Stereo Review Apr. 1986 monergy noun (Environment) (Business World) Economical use of energy; fuel conservation leading to greater cost-effectiveness in running one's home. (Originally, money spent on energy costs: see below.)

Etymology: Formed by telescoping money and energy to form a blend; the word was apparently invented by the advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi. History and Usage: Monergy was originally part of the slogan 'Get more for your monergy'--the catch-phrase of a Government energy-saving campaign in the UK in 1985. The whole campaign soon came to be known by the one word monergy, which was widely criticized as an ugly and unnecessary formation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is already rarely seen, despite the greater emphasis on energy conservation which has been urged by the green movement in the late eighties and early nineties. Efficiency in use also requires conservation, lower energy appliances and domestic insulation, and the government's soft pedalling on its 'monergy' campaign is to be regretted. Planet 82 Aug./Sept. 1990, p. 60 monetarism noun (Business World) (Politics) An economic theory based on the belief that only control of the money supply can successfully bring about changes in the rate of inflation or the level of unemployment. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ism in the sense of 'a system, belief, or ideological basis' to monetary as used in monetary control etc. History and Usage: This is not a particularly new word--the theory was first proposed by David Hume in the eighteenth century and the word has been used in relation to the economic theories of Professor Milton Friedman and his followers since the late 1960s--but it is one which has been used so frequently in the eighties to refer to the economic basis of the political administration both in the UK and in the US that it deserves an entry here for its high profile in recent years. Monetarism has been the underlying principle for controlling inflation used by the Conservative government in the UK under Mrs Thatcher and Mr Major, and the US Presidential administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, and as such it has affected the lives of

millions of British and American citizens. It has been the main opponent of Keynesianism (based on the theories of J. M. Keynes), which puts an obligation on governments to create employment and put money into people's pockets through public spending. A believer in the economic principle of monetarism is a monetarist; the adjective to describe policies founded on the principle is also monetarist. Not even the fierce monetarism of the last decade has prevented us from paying ourselves far more in relation to what we produce than any of our major competitors. Guardian 3 July 1989, p. 11 In the early 1980s the insights of monetarism were dissipated because the claims of the monetarists for control of the money supply as a cure-all were exaggerated. Financial Times 3 Apr. 1990, p. 21 moonwalk (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) see break-dancing Moral Majority noun (Politics) In the US, a right-wing political movement emphasizing traditional moral standards in society and drawing support mainly from fundamentalist Christian groups. Hence more generally (as moral majority), upholders of traditional right-wing social values. Etymology: So named because it claims to represent a majority of the American people favouring the re-establishment of moral standards. History and Usage: The Moral Majority movement was founded by Revd Jerry Falwell in Washington DC at the end of the seventies, originally as a 'legislative research foundation' to promote conservative Christian viewpoints. During the eighties it attracted considerable support and was able to put its message across through commercial religious broadcasting (the 'electric church'), even putting one of the televangelists up as a

possible presidential candidate in the middle of the decade. In 1986 it was renamed the Liberty Federation but by this time the phrase moral majority had acquired the more general meaning of the conservative or traditionalist component of society. As well as the relentlessly Ann Summers view of sex, metal's other great shock tactic is horror and devil worship imagery. Accusations of satanism have stirred up America's moral majority to call for outright bans, a guarantee for enhanced teen appeal. Guardian 11 Aug. 1989, p. 24 more than my job's worth (People and Society) see jobsworth mountain bike noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A bicycle with a sturdy lightweight frame, fat, deep-treaded tyres, and multiple gears, originally designed for riding on mountainous terrain. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a bike for mountain riding. History and Usage: Although originally designed for hill-riding, the mountain bike became the most fashionable and sought after style of bicycle for town and road cycling as well during the late eighties, rising to the height of a status symbol by 1990. The fashion began in the US and Canada in the early eighties and by 1987 had spread to the UK. At first, mountain bikes were custom-made in California rather than being mass-produced; the name began as a component of the brand names of these 'designer' bikes, such as the Ritchey Mountain Bike. The mountain bike has a distinctive appearance with its thick, heavily treaded tyres and straight handlebars, but the reason for its popularity is more likely to be its versatility and performance, achieved mainly through the wide choice of gears (more than twenty on some models). The sport of hill-riding on a mountain bike is known as mountain biking; someone who takes part in it is a mountain biker. Mountain bikes are also sometimes known as off-roaders or all-terrain bikes (ATBs).

Mountain biking demands hill-walking stamina as well as track-riding skills. Initially, choose gentle routes among familiar terrain--or risk prolonged shoulder-carries! Country Living Nov. 1987, p. 164 80 per cent of all bikes sold in London are now mountain bikes. The Face Jan. 1989, p. 8 Cycling, like walking, is one of the best ways of seeing and enjoying the countryside, and mountain bikes have proved to be the latest and most popular method of 'green' transport: over 1 million of them were sold last year. National Trust Magazine Autumn 1990, p. 9 mouse

noun (Science and Technology)

A computer peripheral consisting of a small plastic box with a number of buttons and a lead, which may be moved about on a desk or tablet to control the position of the cursor on a monitor, and used to enter commands. Etymology: A metaphorical use of the animal name, arising from the appearance of the computer device, with its compact body and its trailing flex resembling a tail, as well as its effect of making the cursor 'scamper' across the screen. This is the latest in a long line of technical uses of mouse based on physical resemblance to the furry animal: these include a nautical term for a type of knot and a plumber's lead weight on a line. History and Usage: This kind of mouse was invented by English and Engelhardt, computer scientists at Stanford Research Institute in California, and was first named by them in print in 1965. By the seventies the device was produced commercially, but it was only during the eighties that it became widely popularized as WIMPs (see WIMPý) became available to personal computer users. The usage debate has centred on the correct

plural form in this sense, with some computer scientists using the regular plural mice, others mouses; mice certainly has the majority. A measure of the popularity of the mouse is the number of compounds it has produced, notably mouse-button (any of the keys on a mouse which allow one to enter commands), and adjectives such as mouse-controlled and mouse-driven. Mouse-driven software has caught the imagination of American hardware designers. Australian Personal Computer Aug. 1983, p. 60 In a world of two- and three-button mice, why did Apple decide on mouse? A+ July 1984, p. 35 mousse° noun and verb (Lifestyle and Leisure) noun: A foamy substance sold as an aerosol or in a pressurized form, usually for applying to the hair to give it body and help to set it in a style. transitive verb: To apply mousse to (the hair or some other part of the body). Etymology: Mousse was originally a French word meaning 'froth'. It has been applied in English cookery to frothy pur‚es using whipped cream or egg since the nineteenth century; the beauty preparation has a similar consistency to an edible mousse, but it may represent a fresh borrowing from French (see below). History and Usage: Hair-styling products in the form of a pressurized foam (for home perming, for example) have been on the market for fifteen years or more, but were not generally known as mousses; the impetus to develop a non-sticky setting foam that could be used outside salons came from the increased popularity of blow-dried women's hairstyles in the late seventies. The first mousse for the general market was developed at the beginning of the eighties by the French firm l'Or‚al; their marketing of the product using the untranslated French word mousse was probably the deciding factor in the

establishment of mousse as the generic term for hair-styling foams. Mousse was so popular in the eighties (especially in creating the sculpted, swept-up styles that were fashionable then) that manufacturers of other pressurized beauty products also began using the word mousse, and combinations such as body mousse started to appear on labels and in advertising. 'People will try to mousse everything,'predicts stylist Louis Licari. People 10 Sept. 1984, p. 79 All these looks were created on one permed head and styled using a selection of mousse, gel, and spray. Hair Flair Sept. 1986, p. 10 See also gel mousseý noun (Environment) A frothy mixture of oil and sea-water which may develop after an oil spill and which is very difficult to disperse; known more fully as chocolate mousse. Etymology: The same word as mousse° above; in this case, definitely so named because of its resemblance to the edible mousse. History and Usage: The term was first used (in the fuller form chocolate mousse) in relation to the Torrey Canyon disaster in 1967, and appears to have taken the unusual route for a technical term of starting in the writing of lay reporters in the press and only later being taken up by specialists as a precise term (a water-in-oil emulsion of 50 to 80 per cent water content). From technical writing in the seventies, it moved back into the popular press each time there was a major oil spill--most recently in relation to the Exxon Valdez incident in Alaska in 1989. The Ixtoc 1 well released oil for 9 months into the open ocean where winds and currents dispersed the floating mousse...which had formed at the wellhead.

Nature 19 Mar. 1981, p. 235 He said the main part of the slick is about 30 miles from shore, half the distance from the ship to the shore, and thin streamers of oil with the consistency of mousse extend another 10 miles toward shore. New York Times 15 June 1990, section A, p. 12 13.8 MRI...


abbreviation (Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) Short for magnetic resonance imaging, a technique which provides sectional images of the internal structure of the patient's body by plotting the nuclear magnetic resonance of its atoms and converting the results into graphic form by computer. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the image is based on the varying magnetic resonance of the atoms making up the body. History and Usage: Like CAT scanning (see CAT°), MRI was developed in the mid seventies as a diagnostic technique which would do away with the need for exploratory surgery. At first it was known as the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technique or zeugmatography, but magnetic resonance imaging and the abbreviation MRI now seem to be becoming the established terms in popular sources. The technique works by passing low-frequency radiation through the soft tissues of the body in the presence of a strong magnetic field and scanning the temporary magnetic realignment that this produces in the nuclei of the elements; the machinery required to do this (an MR scanner) only became commercially available in the UK in the first half of the eighties. MRI produces a clear image of soft tissue even if it is obscured by bone, and is likely to become one of the foremost diagnostic techniques of the nineties. The abbreviation MRI is also sometimes used for magnetic resonance imager (another name for an MR scanner). The company's intensive work on developing semiconductor magnet systems has resulted in today's applications

in...magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Physics Bulletin Jan. 1987, p. 9 MRIs are like CAT scan machines, but they create images by placing a patient in a strong magnetic field. Baltimore Sun 7 Mar. 1990, section C, p. 10 13.9 muesli belt...

muesli belt noun (Health and Fitness) Humorously, an area largely populated by middle-class health-food faddists. Etymology: Formed by compounding. Belt has long been used in the sense of a zone or region, especially with a preceding word denoting the main characteristic or product (such as corn belt, rust belt, etc.). Muesli is seen as the archetypal health food; in this case there is also some allusion to the Bible belt, with the implication that belief in health foods is fundamental to the way of life of this group. History and Usage: The term arose soon after the middle-class obsession with health foods took hold in the late seventies. A report published in 1986 showed that the children of health-food faddists tend to be undernourished, a fact which gave rise to the term muesli-belt malnutrition. Team vicar required. An attractive post in S.W. London 'Muesli belt'. advertisement in Not the Church Times 22 Sept. 1981, p. 6 muggee

noun (People and Society)

The victim of a mugging; a person who is or has been mugged. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ee, denoting the person

affected by an action, to the verb mug, 'to rob violently, especially in a public place'. History and Usage: The word has been used in US English (which tends to form nouns in -ee more freely than UK English) since the early seventies. With the increasing problem of street muggings in the eighties, and the difficulty of finding an alternative word for the victim, it has spread beyond the US to other parts of the English-speaking world. Have the muggees, the majority of whom are white, no right to be protected against muggers? Spectator 28 Nov. 1981, p. 4 After proving four were tougher than one the muggers drove off and the muggee went home to bed. Brisbane Telegraph 9 Apr. 1987, p. 14 Muldergate (Politics) see -gate multilevel adjective Also written multi-level (Business World) In business jargon: operating on a number of levels simultaneously. Used especially in multilevel marketing or multilevel sales: a selling technique involving direct contact with the customer through a network of independent distributors. Etymology: So named because the system makes use of sellers at a number of different levels in the organization, each buyer taking on the responsibility of finding further sellers as well as trying to sell the product. History and Usage: Multilevel marketing originated in the US in the early seventies as a name for a development of the type of marketing operation that is sometimes also called direct sales or pyramid selling (an earlier term with more critical connotations, dating from the sixties)--the technique best exemplified by Tupperware parties and home shopping representatives. Multilevel seemed to become one of the

buzzwords of the sales world in the eighties, but the system has been criticized because it tends to exploit those in the middle of the pyramid, putting great pressure on them to find more sales staff. Merchant Associates said it was working for a California-based organisation selling health products on a multi-level (or pyramid) system. Daily Telegraph 4 Feb. 1987, p. 22 To avoid problems, he says, USA Today no longer takes ads for multilevel sales organizations, where you make your biggest money not by selling products but by bringing new sales people into the game. Chicago Tribune 17 Oct. 1988, section 4, p. 7 multimedia (Science and Technology) see CD muso

noun (Music) In musicians' slang (originally in Australia): a musician, a music fanatic. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating musician and adding the colloquial suffix -o; like journo, a typically Australian slang nickname. History and Usage: Muso has been used in Australia since the late sixties, and is used there of classical as well as popular musicians. It had started to appear in the popular music press in the UK by the late seventies (and so was probably in spoken use for some time before that), but in British use it seems to be more or less limited to the pop and rock scene. Since he's also a muso, and has a brother...with Whitesnake connections, it seemed like a good idea to turn all the background knowledge of crass horrors into more than a Trapeze reunion, a rockstravaganza called 'Phenomena'.

Sounds 27 July 1985, p. 17 It's hard to imagine many people, apart from die-hard musos and dedicated Gabriel fans, would want to listen to this in the comfort of their own home. Empire Sept. 1989, p. 108 13.10 myalgic encephalomyelitis...

myalgic encephalomyelitis (Health and Fitness) see ME 14.0 N

14.1 nab...


acronym (Lifestyle and Leisure) Short for no-alcohol beer, a beer from which almost all the alcohol has been removed after brewing. Etymology: The initial letters of No-Alcohol Beer. History and Usage: Nabs became increasingly popular in the late eighties as the message of 'don't drink and drive' finally started to sink in and alcohol-free drinks became more widely available in bars and restaurants. The low-alcohol equivalent of a nab is a lab (low-alcohol beer); these too became more popular and widely available during the eighties. In the trade, the two categories are sometimes grouped together as nablabs. Alcohol-free or low-alcohol beers, the so-called Nablabs, are now available in almost every public house in Britain. The Times 2 Dec. 1988, p. 7 Next on the agenda is image. The so-called 'nablab' growing at the rate of 100 per cent each year, 200 per cent in the case of low-alcohol wines. Daily Telegraph 3 Dec. 1988, p. 13 Nabs and labs...are brewed as normal beers and then go through a further process to remove or reduce the alcohol. Daily Telegraph 24 Oct. 1990, p. 36 nacho

(Lifestyle and Leisure) A tortilla chip, usually served grilled and topped with melted cheese, jalape¤o peppers, spices, etc.; often in the plural nachos, a 'Tex-Mex' snack with these ingredients. Etymology: The word is clearly borrowed from Mexican Spanish, but its further origins have been the subject of some debate. The dish was first served in the late forties, and one attractive theory is that it was named after the chef who first prepared it. Nacho is the diminutive form of the Spanish given name Ignacio, and one Ignacio 'Nacho' Anaya, a Mexican chef working in the Texan border area of Piedras Negras in the forties, has claimed the honour. The apparent plural form may have originated as a misinterpreted possessive Nacho's. Another theory is that the word is borrowed from the Mexican Spanish adjective nacho, meaning 'flat-nosed'. History and Usage: Although first prepared as long ago as the forties, nachos did not spread far outside Texas and North Mexico until the seventies, and only became widely known through fast-food chains in the eighties. The original dish consisted of a wedge of tortilla, garnished and toasted, but in Britain the basic ingredient has always been corn chips. The chain of Mexican fast-food restaurants is busily expanding its product line to include...a nacho side dish, and a salad. Fortune 14 Nov. 1983, p. 126 I can tell you what they served. It was guacamole and

nachos and there was Gallo jug wine and shrimp dip. Jonathan Kellerman Shrunken Heads (1985), p. 86 naff°

adjective (Youth Culture) In British slang: unfashionable, lacking in style, vulgar or kitsch; also, useless, dud. Etymology: Despite its resemblance to the verb (see naffý), the two words do not seem to be etymologically related. The origins of the adjective may lie in English dialects, several of which have similar words of contempt for inept or stupid people: in the North of England, for example, an idiot is a naffhead, naffin, or naffy, and niffy-naffy as an adjective (meaning 'stupid') has been recorded since the last century. In Scotland, nyaff is a term of contempt for any stupid or objectionable person. History and Usage: The word was first used in the late sixties, mostly among young people, as a new alternative for 'square'. The rise of social groups such as the Sloane Rangers and the yuppies in the eighties made it socially desirable for people to know how to avoid being naff (just as, some decades earlier, the social ‚lite had wanted to know how to be U rather than non-U); and in 1983 a whole book (The Complete Naff Guide) was devoted to the subject. Although principally a British word, naff has been borrowed into US English. Now overtaken by other words among the really young, it is used by those who want to sound younger than they are. The nouns corresponding to naff are naff (for the whole style) and naffness (for the quality of being naff). No electricity...I think it's just a naff battery connection. Liza Cody Bad Company (1982), p. 13 'I shan't bother with that,' a chap retorted on hearing what preview I had attended. 'One-word title that doesn't make sense--bound to be naff.' Daily Mail 6 Apr. 1985, p. 6

Issues [of the magazine]...embodied even more the spirit of naff than had earlier been the case. Harpers & Queen Dec. 1989, p. 235 naffý

intransitive verb (Youth Culture) A slang word used euphemistically to avoid saying 'fuck'; usually in the phrase naff off: go away, 'eff off'. Also as an intensifier or empty filler, in the adjectival form naffing. Etymology: The origin of this word is uncertain; it may be an example of back-slang, reversing the sounds in fan (a long-established shortened form of fanny). Alternatively it could be connected in some way with the wartime NAAFI: Keith Waterhouse, who was the first to use it in print (in Billy Liar, 1959), points out that naffing was a general-purpose expletive in the RAF during the Second World War. History and Usage: Although first used in 1959, naff really became popularized by the BBC television series Porridge from the mid seventies onwards. When, in 1982, Princess Anne told persistent press photographers to 'naff off', it acquired an unexpected respectability; this was reinforced by its association in some people's minds with the (in fact unrelated) adjective in the entry above. A new phrasal verb naff about (to make a fool of oneself) arose from this confusion. 'It's all been arranged, it's all set up, right? So naff off', I said. Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais Porridge (1975), p. 63 Stealing your tin of naffing pineapple chunks? Not even my favourite fruit. Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais Another Stretch of Porridge (1976), p. 16 'Salute'...does not mean naffing about in a tutu. Suzanne Lowry Young Fogey Handbook (1985), p. 30


adjective (Business World) In financial jargon, of an option, position, etc.: unhedged, not secured or backed by the underlying stock, and therefore high-risk. Etymology: A figurative use of naked in the sense 'not covered'; the writer of a naked option does not actually own the stock concerned, so in this sense it is 'not covered'. History and Usage: The practice of writing unhedged or naked options was first reported in the US in the early seventies; in the middle of the decade it was the subject of a number of prosecutions for fraud. As high-risk financial deals involving junk bonds and mezzanine finance became more common in the eighties, naked writing spread to other financial markets and the naked writer became a recognized (although still slightly suspect) figure in stock dealing. Some traders were using more risky index-trading strategies, sources said. One involves writing naked puts--selling someone the right to force you to buy a stock index at a set price in the future. Newsday 26 Oct. 1989, p. 58


(Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Music) see New Age

nanny state noun (Politics) (People and Society) A derogatory nickname for the Welfare State, according to which government institutions are seen as authoritarian and paternalistic, interfering in and controlling people's lives in the same way as a nanny might try to control those of her charges. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the state perceived as playing the role of nanny. History and Usage: The coinage of the nickname nanny state has

been attributed to both Bernard Levin and Ian Macleod; certainly it was first applied to the paternalistic British Welfare State, with its insistence on limiting individual's freedoms if this could be argued to be for the individual's own good. Under the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher in the eighties the term acquired a new emphasis as the ethos of individualism and enterprise was presented as a better alternative to spoon-feeding from the nanny state; the government's programme of privatization was one way in which individuals were to be weaned from reliance on such spoon-feeding. However, opponents of the government argued that authoritarianism and paternalism were stronger than ever in other areas, leaving the nanny state intact in so far as it affected individual rights and freedoms. From the mid eighties the term was used in Australian politics as well. The British, we are incessantly told, have now rejected the 'nanny state' and regard the social worker as a boring pest. Washington Post 14 Aug. 1983, p. 5 The Nanny State is alive and well Down Under. The immediate target is the cigarette industry and individual smokers, but the drive to purify our lives will not end there. Weekend Australian (Brisbane) 9-10 Apr. 1988, p. 20 A measure of privatisation of adoption is called for, with a diminution in the powers of...ideological apartheiders of the nanny State. The Times 28 Sept. 1989, p. 17 narcoterrorism noun Also written narco-terrorism (Drugs) (People and Society) Violent crime and acts of terrorism carried out as a by-product of the illicit manufacture, trafficking, or sale of drugs, especially against any individual or institution attempting to enforce anti-drugs laws.

Etymology: Formed by adding narco- (the combining form of narcotic) to terrorism. History and Usage: Narcoterrorism came into the news in the mid eighties, when it became clear that, in a number of countries where dangerous but highly profitable drugs such as cocaine are produced, the influential producers or 'drug barons' were in alliance with guerrilla and terrorist organizations to defeat any attempts to enforce anti-drugs laws. Alleging government collusion with narcoterrorism in a number of Central and South American countries, some US authorities favoured intervention in the affairs of foreign countries to stop the flow of drugs into their own country; in view of the serious and rapidly growing problems of drug abuse and drug-related crime within the US in the second half of the eighties, some argued that to manufacture drugs at all was itself a narcoterrorist act. In the late eighties reports of the activities of the narcoterrorists centred on the plight of Colombia, where a government determined to stop the drug traffic was the target of repeated attacks in 1989-90. Mr. Belaunde Terry said the victims [of a raid on an anti-drug team in Peru] were 'heroes' and the killers were 'narco-terrorists'. New York Times 19 Nov. 1984, section A, p. 14 Calling cocaine manufacture 'narco-terrorism', as White House spokesman Edward Djerejian did in defense of the raid, the State Department merges its all purpose justification for intervention with the politics of drug warfare. Nation 2 Aug. 1986, p. 68 It is the consensus among anti-drug officials here [in Colombia] that those two men are the masterminds of a 'narcoterrorist' campaign that has driven this nation of 32 million people into a state of widespread anguish and fear. Los Angeles Times 13 Dec. 1989, section A, p. 6


noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society) Colloquially, a horror film, especially one on video; a video film depicting scenes of violence, cruelty, or killing (known more fully as a video nasty). Etymology: A specialized use of nasty, which had existed as a noun meaning 'a nasty person or thing' since the thirties. History and Usage: The problem of nasties (the word is often used in the plural to describe the genre as a whole) was discussed a good deal in the newspapers in the early and mid eighties--at the beginning of the video rental boom in the UK--when large numbers of these films first became widely available and proved worryingly popular. In particular, there was public concern over the potential influence of the more violent nasties on the behaviour of those who watched them. Three videos, part of the current crop of 'nasties' available in thousands of High Street rental shops, have been sent to the DPP. Sunday Times 6 June 1982, p. 3 With its tougher law on videocassettes, West Germany hopes to keep its youth away from the nasties. Christian Science Monitor 3 May 1985, p. 30 See also slasher and snuff

national curriculum Frequently written National Curriculum (People and Society) In the UK, a programme of study provided for in the Education Reform Act of 1988, to be followed by all pupils in the maintained schools of England and Wales, and comprising core and foundation subjects to which appropriate attainment targets and assessment arrangements are to be applied at specified ages. Etymology: Self-explanatory: a curriculum to be followed on a national basis (though in fact the schools of Scotland are not statutorily included, since education is separately administered

there). History and Usage: As originally proposed, the national curriculum was intended to provide higher and more uniform standards of education across the various schools and parts of the country at a time when there was serious public concern over the content and standards of British education. National Curriculum Councils were set up for England and Wales to co-ordinate proposals for the content of the curriculum, standards, etc., but the Act gave final responsibility for specifying the attainment targets and programmes of study to the Secretary of State for Education and Science. The early proposals were quite ambitious in their scope and were based on the premise that all pupils should study certain subjects (the 'core' subjects) up to a certain age, their level of attainment in those subjects being assessed by organized testing at the 'key stages' of ages 7, 11, 14, and 16--the testing was to be based on standard assessment tasks, or SATs. As these proposals were implemented from 1990 onwards, it became clear that the original scope had been over-ambitious, and the number of subjects in which testing was to take place was reduced accordingly. This autumn, 25 Hampshire schools and colleges will be taking part in trials using CA material for teaching of maths and science under the new National Curriculum. Which? Sept. 1989, p. 413 The Department of Education and Science said: 'An increased workload in the short term will bring long-term benefits for teachers and pupils as the national curriculum brings a clearer framework for teaching. The Government is pacing its vital reforms and deferring appraisal to meet concerns about teachers' workload.' Financial Times 3 Apr. 1990, p. 12 national heritage (Environment) see heritage 14.2 neato...


adjective (Youth Culture) In young people's slang, especially in the US: really good, desirable, or successful; extremely 'neat'. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -o (here intensifying the force of the adjective) to neat in its colloquial sense 'excellent, desirable'. History and Usage: Neato was in spoken use in the late sixties, but became a particularly fashionable term of approval among young people in the late seventies and early eighties. It was at this time that it also spread outside the US to other English-speaking countries. We would probably never have heard of Peter Wagschal, or of his neato Ouija Board Studies Program, if it hadn't been for one Larry Zenke, a pretty neato guy himself. Underground Grammarian Jan. 1982, p. 1 Those were the days when Beaver used to...have what she calls 'a neato free time'. More (New Zealand) Feb. 1986, p. 49

necklace noun and verb (Politics) In South Africa, noun: A tyre soaked or filled with petrol, placed round the neck and shoulders of a victim, and set alight, used as a form of unofficial execution. Often attributive, in necklace killing, necklace murder, etc. transitive verb: To kill (a person assumed to be a police informer or collaborator) using this method. Also as an action noun necklacing. Etymology: A figurative use of necklace, based on the fact that the tyre is placed round the neck. In the days of hanging, a

noose was also sometimes referred to metaphorically as a necklace. History and Usage: It was in the mid eighties that Western newspapers began reporting the use of the necklace by South African Black activists on fellow Blacks who were suspected of betraying the Black rights movement. Such reports continued into the early nineties, even after the unbanning of the African National Congress and the move towards greater recognition of Black rights which followed. Four more blacks...have been killed in 'necklace' South African townships. The Times 22 Apr. 1986, p. 7 We heard that two nine year olds in that area had been 'necklaced', having rubber tyres filled with petrol put round their necks and set alight. Tear Times Summer 1990, p. 6 need not to know (Politics) see deniability neighbourhood watch noun Written neighborhood watch in the US (People and Society) An organized programme of vigilance by ordinary citizens in order to help the police combat crime in their neighbourhood; crime prevention achieved by this method. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the idea is for ordinary citizens to keep a watch on their neighbourhood. History and Usage: The idea of neighbourhood watch came from the US, where the first scheme was set up in the early seventies. By the mid eighties it was also catching on in the UK as a popular response to the rising number of burglaries and thefts. The underlying principle is local co-operation: that neighbours should be prepared to watch out for each other's property and welfare and co-operate with the police in ensuring that anything suspicious is reported and investigated.

Neighbourhood watch schemes are catching on fast. In Ja nuary a Home Office minister said 8,000 schemes were in operation. New Socialist Sept. 1986, p. 5 The words 'neighborhood watch' mean more than just keeping an eye out for suspicious activity. Here...some 35 area block clubs' representatives meet regularly to figure out how to make their streets safer and cleaner. Modern Maturity Aug.-Sept. 1989, p. 18 neo-con noun and adjective Also written neocon (Politics) In North American politics (especially in the US), noun: A neo-conservative; a member of a political movement known as neo-conservatism, which rejects the allegedly utopian values of liberalism but supports democratic capitalism in which there is a measure of social conscience. adjective: Of or belonging to the neo-conservative movement. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating neo-conservative. History and Usage: The neo-conservative movement in the US arose in the seventies under the influence of a group of contributors to the journal The Public Interest, and by the end of the decade had crystallized its ideas (for example on the place of a welfare state within a conservative society and the need for practical realities rather than utopian dreams) to become the focus of the 'soft' right in US politics. By the end of the seventies neo-conservative was being abbreviated to neo-con; in the course of the eighties this became a standard way of referring to conservatives of this complexion. The neo-con intellectuals are privately dismayed at the choice of 'a Kemp without Kemp's baggage'. New York Times 18 Aug. 1988, section A, p. 27

On the right, the hard-core conservatives and the neocons are left lamenting what they perceive as Reagan's unfortunate drift to d‚tente. Washington Post 2 Dec. 1988, p. 27 Neo-Geo noun and adjective Also written Neo Geo or neo-geo (Lifestyle and Leisure) noun: An artistic movement characterized by a high degree of geometric abstraction and often by the inclusion of consumer products such as manufactured goods. Also, an artist belonging to this movement. adjective: Of or belonging to this movement. Etymology: Formed by adding the prefix neo- 'new' to the abbreviation geo (for geometric). History and Usage: Throughout the twentieth century abstract artists have often shown an interest in 'geometric' figures, producing precisely drawn pictures of straight lines and simple shapes: a particularly extreme form of this was the Neo-Plasticism of Piet Mondrian and his followers. Consequently, when in the mid eighties a small group of artists in New York's East Village began to exhibit works which showed a similar approach, the supposed 'school' that this represented became known as Neo-Geo. The hallmarks of the work of these artists were their interest in mass-production and the idea of creating something which has a suggestion of having been manufactured, interpreted by some as an ironic comment on the technological society. Other proposed labels for the genre include Neo-Conceptualism, Neo-Pop, and Smart Art. The question of what to call the new thing has not been settled. 'Neo-geo', the catchiest title, may not stick, because it refers only to one ingredient of the package--the geometric abstract painting that mimics and comments on earlier geometric abstract painting. New Yorker 24 Nov. 1986, p. 104 Worst of all are the Neo-Geos, who are like children

aping their elders. Art & Design Oct. 1987, p. 31 nerd

noun (People and Society) (Youth Culture) In US slang: a contemptible or boring person, especially one who is studious, conventional, or 'square'; a dweeb. Etymology: Of uncertain origin: possibly a euphemistic alteration of turd, but perhaps simply an allusion to a nonsense word used in Dr Seuss's children's book If I Ran the Zoo (1950): And then, just to show them, I'll sail to Ka-Troo And Bring Back an It-Kutch, a Preep and a Proo, a Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker, too! History and Usage: Nerd itself has been in use in US slang since the sixties, but enjoyed a fashion in the late seventies and early eighties which led to the development of a number of derivatives and compounds. Notable among these are the adjectives nerdish, nerdlike, and nerdy and the nouns nerdishness and nerdism. The nerd affects a fussy, conventional (and, some would say, pretentious) style of dress and appearance which became known as the nerd look; the quintessential characteristic of the nerd, a plastic pocket protector worn in the top pocket to prevent pens from soiling the fabric, was nicknamed the nerd pack. The word nerd had supposedly gone out of fashion by the late eighties in favour of dweeb and other synonyms, but it and its derivatives had by then already spread to the UK and continued to appear frequently in print, even in US sources, into the early nineties. A British variation on the same theme is nerk, a stupid or objectionable person (probably formed by telescoping nerd and jerk to make a blend); the corresponding adjective is nerkish. To make the simplest and most effective statement of your nerdishness, all you need to do is go out and buy a bra. Not the kind associated with women, but the black, oozy, plastic kind that dimwits put on the front of their cars. The auto bra is at its nerdish best when used on cars costing less than œ10,000.

Car & Driver Oct. 1989, p. 3 Cedrico and Angelita...would call them aunt and uncle if they didn't consider such titles nerdy. Alice Walker Temple of My Familiar (1989), p. 395 Most people think of BBSs as crude hacker forums where computer nerds trade tips on how to pirate software or break into the Pentagon's computers. Computer Buyer's Guide 1990, part 3, p. 34 Nerdpacks are for engineers and computer programmers who have earned their status as nerds, or compulsive-obsessive gadget freaks. Michael Johnson Business Buzzwords (1990), p. 97 net

(Science and Technology) see networký and neural

network° intransitive verb (Business World) (People and Society) To make use of one's membership of a network, one's contacts, etc. to acquire information or some professional advantage, often while appearing to be engaged only in social activity. Frequently as the verbal noun networking, the use of contacts in this way; also as agent noun networker, a person who uses this technique. Etymology: The verbal noun was formed on the noun network, with the simple verb as a later back-formation from it. The verb to network in the sense 'to cover with a network' had existed since the late nineteenth century and had developed technical uses in broadcasting and computing in the forties and seventies respectively. History and Usage: As the feminist movement gathered momentum during the seventies, it was realized that men had always used the old boy network to get ahead, and there was no reason why women should not do the same. By the late eighties, particularly as the individualistic ethos of the Thatcher and Reagan economies became evident, networking was recognized as an

important way of advancing all kinds of interests (not just among women). Over a networking lunch of smoked salmon sandwiches...she learned all that she needed to know about the status, income and prospects of her Valentine date. The Times 9 Feb. 1985, p. 11 Party delegates are gathering...and 'networking'. Independent 16 July 1988, p. 6 networký noun and verb (Science and Technology) noun: A system of interconnected computers, especially within a business organization etc.; a local area network (see LAN) or wide area network (see WAN). Sometimes abbreviated to net. transitive verb: To link (computers or other electronic equipment) together to form a network, so as to make it possible to transfer data, share resources, or access the system from a number of different locations. Also as an adjective networked; action noun networking. Etymology: A further specialized development of network in the sense of 'something which resembles a net in its complex organization and interconnectedness'; earlier examples had included the broadcasting network. History and Usage: The first computer networks were set up in the sixties; by the early eighties the word was frequently used as an abbreviation of the longer terms local area network and wide area network, especially by those who did not feel comfortable with the acronyms LAN and WAN. The further abbreviated form net originated in the jargon of computer scientists in the seventies, but by the mid eighties was beginning to gain a wider currency. The general public perhaps met it most frequently as a suffix for the proper names of large computer networks or their components, such as Ethernet and Internet.

Extras:...ECONET network interface. Which Micro? Dec. 1984, p. 20 The net requires you to have intelligence at the terminals but the PCs don't have to be flash and you have to be careful the network will support them. Today's Computers Nov. 1985, p. 125 One result of buying different types of equipment has been their lack of compatibility within a network. Daily Telegraph 21 Nov. 1986, p. 4 The term 'ION' stands for 'Image Online Network' and means that this camera has the potential to be connected--or 'networked'--to a range of other equipment, such as computers, desktop publishing systems and copiers. Video Maker July/Aug. 1990, p. 37 See also neural neural

adjective (Science and Technology) In computing jargon: modelled on the arrangement of neurons in the brain and nervous system; used especially in neural network (or neural net), a computer system which is designed to simulate the human brain in its ability to 'learn' probabilistically and carry out complex processes simultaneously at a number of different nodes. Etymology: A figurative use of the adjective neural. History and Usage: The development of computer neural networks was founded on the work of mathematicians studying neurophysiology as a model for the construction of automata from the late forties onwards; it was not until the eighties, though, that computer scientists announced that they had succeeded in building a computer which worked on the neural principle. The basic principle underlying the neural net computer is that of

connectivity; essentially this means doing away with a central processor in favour of a number of simple calculating elements which work in parallel and are connected in patterns similar to those of human neurons and synapses. Such a system, unlike the digital computer, can solve problems even when there are minor inaccuracies in the starting data, and can also be 'trained' to use a technique for reaching correct solutions based on trial and error. The neural net computer is therefore seen as one of the most promising areas of AI research in the early nineties. A number of special neural networks will be designed and interlinked to create a neural computer...Research into neural computing is now a multi-million pound scientific endeavour. The Times 25 Mar. 1989, p. 5 We're also looking at advanced neural nets and doing quite a lot of work on VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration), to make sure that the memory we develop is properly structured and packaged in a chip. CU Amiga Apr. 1990, p. 91 There's something big just below the surface of neural-net technology, something real big. PC Magazine June 1990, p. 170 Neuromantic (Lifestyle and Leisure) see cyberpunk New Age noun and adjective (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Music) noun: An umbrella term for a cultural movement (known more fully as the New Age Movement, abbreviated to NAM), covering a broad range of beliefs and activities and characterized by a rejection of (modern) Western-style values and culture and the promotion of a more integrated or 'holistic' approach in areas such as religion, medicine, philosophy, astrology, and the environment. adjective: Belonging to, characteristic of, or influenced by the

New Age approach to health, society, music, etc. Etymology: Formed by compounding: an age that is new. The term may be used to describe any new era or beginning, but, from about the turn of the century, it also became an alternative name in astrology for the Age of Aquarius, that part of the zodiacal cycle which the world is due to enter in the late twentieth or early twenty-first century, and which is believed to signal an era of new spiritual awareness and collective consciousness. History and Usage: Although New Age originated in and remained strongly associated with California and the West Coast of the US, its influence spread throughout the US and northern Europe and became established in communities such as Findhorn in Scotland from about the beginning of the seventies. Many of the various components that make up the New Age Movement--including the wide range of alternative and complementary therapies, the practice of Eastern religions, and the fascination with the occult and parapsychology--are of course not 'new'; and moreover, at first sight, they seem to follow directly from aspects of the hippie movement of the sixties. What made New Age different (and in this sense 'new') was that, whereas the hippie movement involved mainly young people and tended to operate in opposition to contemporary Western society, New Age was by the early eighties attracting not only an older age group but also middle-class people who had both money and status within society. Such people--some of whom were in fact the hippies of the sixties now grown older--not only gave the movement a reputation for being a kind of 'religion for yuppies', they also, by the late eighties, ensured its rapid growth and extraordinary success in commercial terms, whether it was in publishing New Age books on organic gardening or astrological charts, or in promoting crystal healing or water-divining. A person involved with New Age ideas was soon referred to by the agent noun New Ager. The general theme within the New Age Movement was that in the harsh post-industrial world of the late twentieth century, people had somehow become out of balance both with their own spiritual selves and with nature and the environment as a whole; this theme was strongly featured in New Age music. From about the middle of the eighties, this term was loosely applied to a

particular brand of music that tended to be characterized by light melodic harmonies and improvisation, by the lack of a strong beat or prominent vocals, and by the use of such instruments as the piano, harp, and synthesizer. The idea was to create a relaxing or dream-like atmosphere; sometimes sounds were reproduced from the natural world such as 'planetary' sounds and the calls of dolphins and whales. Most New Agers favor replacing nuclear and fossil fuels with ecologically sound solar power which represents a kind of marriage between technology and spirit. Nation 31 Aug. 1985, p. 146 Most of them listen to New Age music--waves lapping, whales calling, amplified heartbeats and so on. None of them listen to the Beach Boys. Sunday Express Magazine 23 Aug. 1987, p. 30 So-called New Age philosophy has much in common with the worldmind and Gaia: the self is subsumed in the larger whole. Raritan (1989), volume IX, p. 132 Mrs. Brandon is less furiously New Age; her hair is frosted and shaped into a ladylike little flip. Perri Klass Other Women's Children (1990), p. 65 new-collar adjective and noun (People and Society) adjective: Belonging to a supposed socio-economic group made up of white-collar workers who are more affluent and better educated than their parents. noun: A person who belongs to this group. Etymology: Formed by compounding: having a collar of a new kind.

History and Usage: Ralph Whitehead, a Chicago reporter who later became a University professor, was one of many people writing in the seventies about the demographic changes that had taken place in the US since the war. He noticed that as a result of the declining manufacturing sector, large numbers of people from working-class ('blue-collar') backgrounds were moving into new areas of employment, and were as a result beginning to acquire new, supposedly more 'educated' values--and to vote differently. In a series of articles, Whitehead described this subgroup of 'baby boomers' in detail: the idea caught on amongst political commentators, and from about the mid eighties the new-collar worker became a stereotype, to be courted by advertisers and politicians like the less numerous (but even more affluent) yuppies. There has arisen what Whitehead calls the 'new-collar class'. New collars are to the middle class what yuppies are to the upper-middle class...New collars earn from $20,000 to $40,000. But what new collars lose in individual wealth when compared to yuppies, they gain back in numbers. New Republic 30 Dec. 1985, p. 20 new heroin (Drugs) see designer drug New Wave noun and adjective (Music) (Youth Culture) noun: A style of rock music which grew out of punk rock, but later developed a more restrained character of its own and proved more enduring than punk. adjective: Belonging to this style of rock. Etymology: There had already been a New Wave in jazz and a similar movement in French cinema (also known as nouvelle vague); the punk rockers simply adopted the term and applied it in a new context. History and Usage: New Wave developed in the late seventies as a toning-down of some of the more shocking features of punk rock, especially in the US. The angry, socially conscious lyrics

of punk remained, but more tunefully and in a more sophisticated minimalist rock framework than before. In practice, nearly all new rock groups of the late seventies and early eighties were described as New Wave except those which clearly belonged to heavy metal. A performer of New Wave music was sometimes called a New Waver. [Laurie] Anderson is a borderline New Waver who looks as though she has been out in the rain upside down. Washington Post 10 June 1982, section D, p. 10 They refused to conform to the prevailing fashions of the San Francisco new wave/punk scene. Guitar Player Mar. 1989, p. 41 14.3 nibble...


noun Also written nybble (Science and Technology)

In computing jargon, half a byte (four 'bits') of information. Etymology: Formed humorously on byte, treating it as the same word as bite; something which is only half as big as a byte. History and Usage: Nibble began as a piece of computer programmers' slang in the seventies and soon found its way into print in technical sources. It remains largely an 'in' joke in computing, but sometimes appears in popular magazines for enthusiasts and explanations of computing for the layperson. The quarter-frame message breaks down the SMPTE number into 'nibbles', or pieces of bytes (I didn't make this up), and the second byte of each message is one nibble. Keyboard Mar. 1990, p. 94 nicad

noun Also written NiCad or ni-cad (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) A nickel and cadmium battery which, because of its construction,

can be recharged frequently and is able to deliver short bursts of high current. Often used attributively, especially in nicad battery. Etymology: A clipped compound, formed by combining the initial syllables of nickel and cadmium. History and Usage: Nicads were first used in the fifties, amongst other uses in experimental electric cars, but proved too expensive to be very successful at that time. During the sixties they were among the types of battery tried out in US spacecraft. What really ensured their success was the search for a lightweight rechargeable battery for the growing market in portable computers in the late seventies and early eighties. As the eighties progressed, public interest in green issues led to a greater demand for rechargeable batteries for all kinds of consumer durables, and the word nicad entered the general vocabulary, initially through advertising of these products. Ni-cads are better able to provide a sufficient current but, at 1.2 V instead of 1.5 V each, the effect is much the same. Cycletouring Jan. 1986, p. 31 Clock version has high capacity NiCad battery--never needs replacing! Amiga User International May 1990, p. 99 niche

noun (Business World) In business jargon, a position from which an entrepreneur is able to exploit a gap in the market; a profitable corner of the market. Etymology: A specialized figurative sense of niche (literally 'a recess'), similar to corner in its business sense. History and Usage: This sense of niche was first used by Frederik Barth in his book The Role of the Entrepreneur in Social Change in Northern Norway (1963). In the late seventies and eighties it gave rise to a number of compounds and

derivatives, including niche advertising, niche analysis, niche business, and niche marketing (all referring to the exploitation of niches), niche player (a person who exploits a niche), nichemanship (the practice or technique of exploiting a niche), and the verb niche market. The only sensible strategy for non-bank financial institutions is nichemanship. Business Review Weekly 29 Aug. 1986, p. 56 At the very time when Campbell was niche marketing trendy vegetables in its bid to be the 'well-being company', it was embroiled in a messy farm labor dispute. Warren Belasco Appetite for Change (1989), p. 219 The pizza chains...plug valuable niches in the Retail Division between the Berni and other restaurants at one extreme and the pubs and pub-restaurants at the other. Intercity Apr. 1990, p. 17 But if you had a real niche fund, say a French authorised second section oil fund for instance, then you could raise interest from foreign investors who wanted into that niche. European Investor May 1990, p. 10 The areas of assistance available through the program include technology transfers, OEM agreements, distribution networks, market niche analysis for products and technologies, joint ventures, mergers, and acquisitions. UnixWorld Jan. 1991, p. 157 Nikkei

noun (Business World)

Used attributively in Nikkei index, Nikkei (stock) average, etc.: an index of the relative prices of representative shares

on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (also known informally as the Nikkei Dow (or Nikkei Dow Jones) average). Etymology: A borrowing from Japanese; it is formed from the initial syllables of the first two words of Nihon Keizai Shimbun 'Japanese Economic Journal', the title of Japan's main financial newspaper, where the index is compiled and published (compare Footsie). History and Usage: The Tokyo Stock Exchange calculated its own stock average from 1949; this work was taken over by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun in 1974. In the late seventies and eighties Western economic and financial sources started to publish figures from the Nikkei index and Nikkei was frequently mentioned in television and radio reports, bringing the word into popular use alongside Footsie and Dow. Like Dow Jones, Nikkei is sometimes used on its own as a short form of Nikkei average, etc. A major aim of the $90 million fund is to negotiate the region's sky-high p/e multiples and towering 28,000 Nikkei Dow without giving its investors nosebleeds. Financial World 20 Sept. 1988, p. 51 The Nikkei average plummeted 1,978.38, or 6.6 per cent, to close at its low for the day of 28,002.07--its steepest decline since just after New York's Black Monday crash in October 1987, when the Nikkei dropped 3,936.48 points. Financial Times 3 Apr. 1990, p. 41 Nilkie

(People and Society) see DINK

NIMBY acronym Frequently written Nimby or nimby (Environment) (Politics) The initial letters of the slogan 'not in my back yard', expressing objection to the siting of something unpleasant, such as a nuclear waste dump, in one's own locality (although, by implication, not minding this elsewhere). Hence as an adjective, having the attitude that such unpleasant developments should not

be allowed in one's own neighbourhood; as a noun, a person with this attitude, a protester against local developments. Etymology: An acronym, perhaps coined with pronounceability in mind. It very quickly acquired its own grammatical status as an adjective and noun. History and Usage: The abbreviation originated in the US as a derogatory label for the anti-nuclear movement, and is attributed to Walton Rodger of the American Nuclear Society. In its earliest usage (around 1980), it was simply an abbreviated form of the slogan itself, but it soon came to be used as an adjective (especially in Nimby syndrome), to describe an attitude increasingly prevalent both in the US and in the UK. In the UK it was widely used as a noun in connection with reports in 1988 of the then Environment Secretary Nicholas Ridley's opposition to housing developments near his own home. The noun can have the plural Nimbies or Nimbys, the first attesting to its acceptance as a common noun in the language, subject to the morphological rule that words in -y form their plural in -ies, the second remaining faithful to the original slogan's initial letters. Derivatives such as Nimbyism and Nimbyness are sometimes found. He simultaneously made clear his belief that all waste disposal options should be properly examined and expressed unalloyed support for the government's nuclear expansion plans. It would be hard to find a more classic and indefensible example of the NIMBY...syndrome. New Statesman 7 Mar. 1986, p. 11 Nicholas Ridley's embarrassment over revelations that he has on several occasions objected to proposed developments...near his Cotswolds home shows that there may be a closet all of us. Independent 16 June 1988, p. 26 nineteen ninety-two noun Usually written 1992 (Business World) (Politics) The date for the completion of a single market in the EC, often

used allusively to refer to the single market itself or to one or more of the characteristics of the European economy that would result from it. Etymology: The year in which the changes were to be implemented fully; actually, the single market was not to be complete until the end of the year, so 1993 would be the first year in which its full effects would be felt. History and Usage: For history, see single market. 1992 was the focus of the British Department of Trade and Industry's advertising campaign to prepare businesses and individuals for the single market, and thus became a term with more currency than single market itself. With 1992 just around the corner, Eisner and the rest of his 'Yo-team-let's-go' management will be eagerly looking to Disneyize Europe and then the rest of the world. Broadcast 18 Aug. 1989, p. 10 Over the past five years there has been a new renaissance, as Eurosclerosis was replaced by the excitement of the 1992 programme. European 11-13 May 1990, p. 23 As 1992 looms closer and cross-border deals become increasingly important, we do have an ace up our sleeve: a knowledgeable European network. World Outside: Career Guide 1990, p. 94 ninja

noun and adjective Also written Ninja (Lifestyle and Leisure) (War and Weaponry) noun: A Japanese warrior trained in ninjutsu, the art of stealth or invisibility, which was developed in feudal times in Japan and later practised more widely as a martial art. adjective: Of, belonging to, or characteristic of the ninjas or their techniques.

Etymology: A direct borrowing from Japanese, in which it is a compound word meaning 'practitioner of stealth', made up of the elements nin 'stealth' and ja 'person'. History and Usage: Ninjutsu is an ancient art in Japan--it was practised by the warriors employed by feudal war lords for espionage and assassination--but the words ninja and ninjutsu were hardly used in English-language sources before the seventies. A rare use in spy fiction comes in Ian Fleming's You Only Live Twice (1964): My agents are trained in one of the arts most dreaded in Japan--ninjutsu...They are now learning to be ninja or 'stealers in'. The rise of interest in oriental martial arts in the seventies meant that some Westerners became interested in the history of the ninjas and started to try to emulate them. Ninjas also began to figure in role-playing and fantasy games. What brought the words ninja and ninjutsu into popular use, though, was the commercial success in the late eighties of the Turtles (whose full name, in the US at least, was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). I'm inside a recreated Japanese ninja training hall--on the walls a collection of exotic chains, knives, swords, whips, staffs, and other sadistic tools that would make a hardened dominatrix blush. Omni Mar. 1990, p. 64 The first level [in a computer game] starts off with Ninjas suspended from trees. CU Amiga Apr. 1990, p. 28 There is far more to the graphic novel than recording the exploits of Donatello and his ninja friends. Times Educational Supplement 2 Nov. 1990, Review section, p. 1

Ninja Turtle (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) see Turtle NIREX

acronym Also written Nirex (Environment)

Short for Nuclear Industry Radioactive Waste Executive, a body set up to oversee the disposal of nuclear waste in the UK. Etymology: Formed from letters taken from the name Nuclear Industry Radioactive waste EXecutive. History and Usage: NIREX, a government-sponsored body, was established in 1982 by a group of English and Scottish generating boards and nuclear energy authorities. Its brief includes the development of plans to build a nuclear waste repository for the UK by the year 2005. Environmentalists are angry that NIREX has not considered as an option the long-term storage of nuclear waste above ground. New Scientist 14 Jan. 1989, p. 30 14.4 NMR...


(Health and Fitness) (Science and Technology) see MRI

14.5 no-alcohol beer...

no-alcohol beer (Lifestyle and Leisure) see nab noise footprint (Science and Technology) see footprint 14.6 non-ism...

non-ism noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society) A policy or lifestyle of avoiding all activities and substances

(foods, drink, drugs, etc.) which might be harmful to one's mental or physical health; an extreme form of total abstention. Etymology: Formed by combining the prefix non- 'not' with the suffix -ism to make a word which does not, strictly speaking, contain a root (but perhaps this emphasizes the point: it is a non-word). History and Usage: The increasing preoccupation in the late eighties with health and fitness on the one hand, and with prevention as preferable to cure on the other, produced a feeling not infrequently expressed that it had become difficult to consume or do anything without worrying about its possibly deleterious effects. Non-ism is a name for the most extreme response to the wealth of information on preventive medicine; a person who practises it is a non-ist. The word was brought into the news by reports in 1990 of a Boston psychiatrist whose son had given up almost all pleasures; he seemed to typify a growing trend in US society. His stuck in a limbo of non-ism...He gave up drinking, drugs and caffeine, meat, sugar, dairy and wheat products, and sex. He is depressed and lethargic. 'He's a pleasure anorexic,' said his father. New York Times 27 May 1990, p. 22 The rule...for the to define yourself through denial...This new creed of 'non-ism', as the academics are calling it, draws on the fashion for abstention from drink, tobacco, drugs...and all other contaminants. The Times 13 June 1990, p. 11 noov

adjective Also written noove (People and Society) In slang, a member of the nouveaux riches; someone who has recently come into money and thereby moved up to a higher socio-economic bracket. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating nouveau (itself sometimes used as a short form for nouveau riche), respelling the resulting word to reflect its anglicized pronunciation; English

speakers might be tempted to pronounce nouv /--/. History and Usage: Noov and nouveau became popular slang abbreviations of nouveau riche in the late seventies or early eighties. A neighbour of ours...A real noove, pretending to be a farmer. Susan Moody Penny Post (1985), p. 31 The pupils: 45 per cent sons of Old Etonians...Also largish element of noovs to keep up academic standards and/or provide useful business contacts. The Times 7 Oct. 1986, p. 14 notebook (Science and Technology) see laptop nouvelle adjective (Lifestyle and Leisure) Of a restaurant, food, etc.: using or characterized by nouvelle cuisine, a style of cooking, originally from France, in which simplicity, freshness, and aesthetically pleasing presentation are emphasized. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating nouvelle cuisine, literally 'new cooking' to its first word, 'new'. History and Usage: Nouvelle cuisine became fashionable outside France in the late seventies and early eighties, offering as it did a completely different approach from the elaborate sauces and richness of traditional French cooking. Nouvelle also became a fashionable adjective in the second half of the seventies to describe cooking that incorporated any of the principles of nouvelle cuisine, such as lightness, short cooking times, artistic presentation (some of the nouvelle dishes were likened to works of art, designed only for photographing and not for eating), or small helpings (since the bare surface of the plate had a part to play in framing the artistic arrangement of the food). All of these characteristics were the object of criticism as well as praise, so the adjective nouvelle could be either approving or derogatory, depending on the view of its

user. Plates arrive from the kitchen under silver covers that are removed with a flourish to reveal distinctly nouvelle still-life-like arrangements on those handsome basket plates popularized by Michel Gu‚rard. Gourmet July 1981, p. 90 One establishment we visited served every dish flanked by the same ludicrously inappropriate clutter: a frilly lettuce leaf pinned down by a couple of hefty spring onions, a pallid slice of kiwi fruit and a strawberry. Oh nouvelle cuisine, what have you spawned! Country Living Aug. 1990, p. 68 14.7 nuclear device...

nuclear device (War and Weaponry) see device nuclear-free (Environment) (War and Weaponry) see -free nuclear winter noun (Environment) (War and Weaponry) A prolonged period of extreme cold and darkness which, according to some scientists, would be a global consequence of a nuclear war because a thick layer of smoke and dust particles in the atmosphere would shut out the sun's rays. Etymology: Formed by compounding: an artificial winter caused by a nuclear conflict. History and Usage: The theory of the nuclear winter was formulated by five American scientists, originally for a conference in Washington DC in October-December 1983, and popularized particularly by one of them, Carl Sagan, who attributes the coinage to another, Richard Turco. Writing in the Washington Post's Parade magazine at the time of the Conference,

Sagan describes their research as follows: We considered a war in which a mere 100 megatons were exploded, less than one per-cent of the world arsenals, and only in low-yield airbursts over cities. This scenario, we found, would ignite thousands of fires, and the smoke from these fires alone would be enough to generate an epoch of cold and dark almost as severe as in the 5000-megaton case. The threshold for what Richard Turco has called The Nuclear Winter is very low. The lowering of temperatures and lack of light caused by radioactive debris in the atmosphere would, according to this theory, destroy the cycles of nature and ruin crop growth, so that any human survivors of a nuclear exchange would soon run out of food. The theory of the nuclear winter, which was widely discussed in the mid eighties, had an important influence on the military strategy of the superpowers in the second half of the decade. It possibly contributed to the spirit of disarmament which marked the late eighties and early nineties, since it showed a nuclear first strike to be a potentially suicidal act on the part of any country using it, whether or not it led to a nuclear exchange. As the theory was refined it became clear that the global winter scenario was perhaps an exaggeration, and it was supplemented by the idea of a nuclear autumn, in which temperatures would drop significantly, altering the climate with agricultural consequences, but not causing global famine. The underlying principle was raised again in a non-nuclear setting in 1991, when Iraqi troops set light to hundreds of oil wells in Kuwait before leaving at the end of their occupation of the country, and smoke from these oil fires, blocking the sun's rays, had a similar effect on local temperatures and light levels. Downwind from Chernobyl, the first faint chill of a nuclear winter has caused...shivers of anxiety. The Times 20 May 1986, p. 14 Calculations that the aftermath of a nuclear war might resemble 'nuclear autumn' rather than 'nuclear winter' are probably wrong.

New Scientist 1 July 1989, p. 43 nuke

transitive verb (Lifestyle and Leisure) In US slang, to cook or heat (food) in a microwave oven. Etymology: A transferred use of the slang verb nuke, which since the late sixties has meant ' to attack or destroy with nuclear weapons'. The transfer is explained by the fact that both nuclear bombs and microwave ovens generate electromagnetic radiation (although of very different kinds!). 'This potato', he said listlessly, 'is undernuked.' Half a pulse later and it was dropped back onto his plate like a spent cartridge. Now it was overnuked. Martin Amis London Fields (1989; paperback ed. 1990), p. 400 It was a perfect night to nuke some popcorn and curl up in front of a Duraflame. New Yorker 11 Dec. 1989, p. 14

numeric keypad (Science and Technology) see keypad 14.8 nyaff...

nyaff nybble

see naff° (Science and Technology) see nibble

15.0 O

15.1 offender's tag...

offender's tag (People and Society) (Science and Technology) see tag°

off-roading noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) Driving on dirt tracks and other unmetalled surfaces as a sport or leisure activity; also known more fully as off-road racing. Etymology: Formed from the adjective off-road (which dates from the early sixties) and the action-noun suffix -ing, perhaps by abbreviating off-road racing. History and Usage: Off-roading originated on the West coast of the US in the late sixties, when recreational vehicles such as the beach buggy were first in fashion among young people. From California it spread across the US as a more serious sport, and from the late seventies and early eighties was increasingly practised in an organized way outside the US as well. An off-roader is both a vehicle used in off-roading and a person who takes part in it (but see also mountain bike). Although off-roading began as off-road racing, racing is not an essential element of the sport, which focuses more on the enjoyment of driving away from the traffic and pollution of metalled roads. A serious off-roader is more interested in what a vehicle can do once its wheels start rolling. Outdoor Life (Northeast US ed.) Oct. 1980, p. 29 Unsurfaced roads...are becoming muddy death traps for other countryside users as off-roading becomes an increasingly organised leisure activity. Daily Telegraph 13 Jan. 1988, p. 25 The new all-drive platform is aimed at the rustbelt market, not at serious off-roaders, so the MPV 4WD doesn't sit six feet off the ground or ride on giant knobby tires. Car & Driver Sept. 1989 p. 131 15.2 oilflation...

oilflation (Business World) see kidflation 15.3 oink...


(People and Society) see DINK

15.4 on-and-on rap...

on-and-on rap (Music) (Youth Culture) see rap onsell

transitive verb Also written on-sell (Business World) To sell (an asset, especially one recently acquired) to a third party, usually for profit. Etymology: Formed from the phrasal verb sell on, by converting the adverb on into the prefix on-. This process of converting a phrasal verb into a prefixed one is quite common in verbs used in business: compare onlend (a formation of the seventies), outplace (see outplacement), and outsource. History and Usage: This is a piece of financial jargon of the late seventies and eighties that has acquired some limited currency outside the financial markets as well. The Euro CP dealers, in bidding for paper, will most likely remain exposed to interest rate movements overnight, since they cannot onsell it until the following morning. Euromoney (Supplement) Jan. 1986, p. 79 We will buy some works by contemporary artists this year and may on-sell them if it means we can buy some better examples. Business Review Weekly 19 Feb. 1988, p. 98

on your bike see bike 15.5 optical disc...

optical disc (Science and Technology) see CD option card° (Business World) see card° option cardý (Science and Technology) see cardý 15.6 Oracle...


noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology)

In the UK, the trade mark of a teletext system (see tele-) originally operated by the IBA. Etymology: A figurative use of oracle, based on the popular transferred sense of the phrase consult the oracle, 'to seek information from an authority': the purpose of the service is to provide information on the television screen. History and Usage: Oracle was introduced in the mid seventies and is now a standard option on most new television sets in the UK. The name has been used in other trade marks, especially in information technology. Ceefax and Oracle are both teletext systems. At present teletext is limited to the amount of information that may be transmitted on the two available lines on a television screen, but it is a free service. Bookseller 29 Mar. 1980, p. 1430 orbital adjective (Youth Culture) In British youth slang, of a party (especially an acid-house

party: see acid house): taking place beside or near the M25 London orbital motorway. Etymology: The word is taken from the official name of the M25, London orbital motorway. History and Usage: Orbital parties were a phenomenon of 1989-90, taking the place of warehouse parties in popularity among London's youth. They probably represent a passing fashion. If you've been to any of the major house parties, you'd know them by sight, if not by name. Their multiscreen projections of slides and film loops have featured in orbital parties, at the Astoria and Heaven, in Rifat Ozbek's 1988/89 fashion shows, and at Energy's recent Docklands all-dayer. The Face June 1990, p. 18 organic adjective (Environment) (Lifestyle and Leisure) Of food: produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc., by adding only organic material to the soil. Etymology: Organic in this sense was originally applied to the fertilizers themselves, signifying that they were derived from living matter, unlike the inorganic chemical fertilizers. The adjective was then applied to the method of farming in which organic fertilizers were used (from about the early forties onwards), and finally to the produce of this method of farming. A term such as organic vegetables therefore represents two stages of abbreviation from the more accurate but impossibly cumbersome vegetables grown using a method of agriculture employing only organic materials. Such vegetables are organic in the sense that they contain no traces of the inorganic chemicals often used in vegetable production, but the term organic vegetables rightly strikes some people as a tautology, since all living things are organic. History and Usage: Organic was first applied to the produce of organic farming methods in the seventies, when environmental concerns began to gain a place in the public consciousness. However, organic produce was considerably more expensive than

that produced by modern methods and for some time it was considered to be the province of health-food freaks (an attitude which had prevailed in developed countries when organic farming was first tried in the forties as well). However, demand for organic produce grew markedly in the eighties, as did awareness of the meaning of the term; this was largely because of the success of the green movement and growing public concern about the potentially harmful effects of agricultural chemicals (fed by such scares as the one over Alar in apples). By the end of the eighties organically grown fruit and vegetables were regularly on sale alongside those produced by mainstream farming techniques, and it was even possible to buy organic meat (that is, meat from animals that had been fed only on organic produce). High-tech greens who like the way microwaves cook their organic veg could find the new foodprobe...worth investigating. Practical Health Spring 1990, p. 9 More recently, the desire for organically grown, pesticide-free produce has created a new kind of city garden where food plants are mixed with flowers. Garbage Nov.-Dec. 1990, p. 36 organizer noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) Something which helps a person to organize (objects, appointments, papers, etc.); a container which is arranged in sections or compartments so as to make systematic organization of the contents easier. Etymology: A sense shift involving abbreviation of a longer phrase; an organizer would normally be a person who organizes, but here it is the object which helps a person to organize, that is, a product for the organizer. No doubt the manufacturers of these products would be happy for organizer in this sense still to be interpreted as though the organization were done for its owner by the product, but as Stephanie Winston has pointed out in her book Getting Organized (1978):

You're bound to be disappointed if you buy lots of boxes, containers, and 'organizers' in the wistful hope that they will somehow make you organized. They won't. History and Usage: Products described as organizers (often with a preceding word describing the thing to be organized, as, for example, desk organizer) started to appear on the market in the late sixties. The fashion for organizers in the office was followed in the late seventies by the idea of the organizer bag, a handbag with many different compartments and pockets. In the eighties, when getting organized was synonymous with getting on, organizer was often used as a short form for personal organizer, the generic term for sectioned notebooks like the Filofax which became so fashionable in the early eighties for organizing one's life. Perhaps trying to jump on the bandwagon, advertisers tended to overwork the word organizer in the mid and late eighties: any piece of furniture with shelves or compartments, or even a simple box file was enthusiastically transformed into an essential organizer by the copywriters. The word organizer is often used attributively in naming these products (following the model of organizer bag), in organizer unit etc. Our gift to you--an organizer unit to store your player and discs. New Yorker 4 June 1984, p. 1 It has one shelf and two small plastic 'organisers' to hold all your baby's toiletries. Practical Parenting Apr. 1988, p. 8 The desk-sized professional organizer now makes up 10 per cent of sales, and a small pocket organizer has been launched. The Times 7 Apr. 1989, p. 25 15.7 OTE...


abbreviation (Business World)

Short for on-target (or on-track) earnings, a level of pay at which a person is earning to full potential by receiving a basic salary and commission representing top performance. Etymology: The initial letters of On-Target (or On-Track) Earnings. History and Usage: OTE began to appear as an abbreviation in job advertisements in the second half of the eighties; it is really a shorter and euphemistic way of saying 'earning potential with commission'. Unlike performance-related pay (PRP), it is dependent upon the individual's performance rather than the company's. Computers. œ30,000 Basic. œ60,000 OTE. Sunday Telegraph 1 July 1990, section A, p. 16 otherly abled (People and Society) see abled OTT

abbreviation (Youth Culture) In slang, short for over the top: (especially of a person, or a person's appearance, manner, opinions, etc.) extreme, exaggerated, outrageous; characterized by excess. Etymology: The initial letters of Over The Top; this phrase began in the sixties as a colloquial verbal phrase go over the top, 'to go beyond reasonable limits' and was itself based on the army metaphor of going over the top of the trenches and into battle. History and Usage: Over the top began to be used as an adjectival phrase among young and middle-aged people in the early eighties and was soon being abbreviated to OTT, even in print. It is mentioned as a Sloane Ranger expression in the Official Sloane Ranger Handbook (1982), but is just as likely to be found in the popular music papers or youth magazines as in writing for or by the upper classes. Anything that seems overdone or offends a person's sense of proportions and propriety can be described as OTT, but it is used especially of people or of things in which a human agent has been at work to

stir up (sometimes only mock-serious) outrage. I think that's puritanical. It's totally over the top. Green Magazine Dec. 1989, p. 38 Fans will be happy enough to get half a dozen previously unreleased tracks, including a typically OTT Watkins offering. Folk Roots Aug. 1990, p. 35 15.8 out...


transitive verb (People and Society) To expose the homosexuality of (a prominent or famous person); to force (someone) to come 'out of the closet'. Also as an action noun outing, the practice or policy of making such a revelation, especially as a political move on the part of gay rights activists; agent noun outer. Etymology: Formed by turning the adverb out (as in the phrase come out (that is, out of the closet), meaning 'to make public one's homosexuality') into a verb. The transitive verb out already existed in a number of more general senses. History and Usage: The practice of outing, also known as tossing, was first brought to public attention in the US in early 1990, when public revelations about the sexual orientation of some famous people were used as a political tactic by gay rights activists; they were concerned mainly about lack of support for the victims of Aids, even among those who were closet gays. The word out and its derivatives very quickly acquired a currency among gay groups in the UK as well; wherever it was practised, outing caused considerable controversy. The New York gay magazine OutWeek became particularly associated with outing, revealing the homosexuality of a number of prominent film stars and public figures who, it said, were betraying the cause of gay rights by remaining silent. Instead of tossing or outing this congressman,

I...called to his attention the hypocrisy that he had been legislating against gays. Los Angeles Times 22 Mar. 1990, section E, p. 23 This [i.e. Aids] is the new factor that gives outing both its awful appeal and its power and, most precisely, exposes the motives of the outers as terrorism. Sunday Times 6 May 1990, section C, p. 6 outlaw technologist (Lifestyle and Leisure) see cyberpunk outplacement noun Also written out-placement (Business World) Assistance in finding a new job after redundancy, given to an employee by the employer making him or her redundant or by a special outside service; hence, euphemistically, the act of making someone redundant, 'dehiring'. Etymology: Formed by adding the prefix out- to placement; placing (a person) out rather than within one's own staff. History and Usage: Outplacement has been a standard term in the US business world since the early seventies, but only became current in the UK in the mid eighties. The verb outplace has a similar history to outplacement; derivatives such as the adjective outplaced and the agent noun outplacer (a person or firm that does the outplacement) arose in the early eighties. If you ever do get might count yourself lucky to be placed in the hands of the outplacers. Forbes 19 Jan. 1981, p. 77 Career counselling--or 'outplacement', as the service is called when it is pitched instead at companies that are trying to chop senior executives as mercifully as possible. Sunday Times 26 July 1987, p. 69

Up to 150 staff will be 'outplaced', with the group administrative services unit and the professional services unit (lawyers) being hardest hit. Financial Review (Sydney) 28 Aug. 1987, p. 18 15.9 ozone...


noun (Environment) A colourless unstable gas with a pungent smell and powerful oxidizing properties, which makes up the ozone layer, a layer of naturally occurring ozone in the earth's upper atmosphere that absorbs most of the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation. Used especially in compounds to do with environmental concerns about the ozone layer: ozone depletion, a reduction of ozone concentration in the ozone layer caused by atmospheric pollution and the build-up in the atmosphere of ozone-depleting chemicals such as CFCs; ozone-friendly, of a product, material, etc.: not containing chemicals which harm the ozone layer (see also -friendly); ozone hole, an area of the ozone layer in which serious ozone depletion has occurred; also used as a synonym for ozone depletion. History and Usage: Concern about the damaging effects of modern industrial chemicals on the ozone layer was expressed by environmentalists as long ago as the seventies, but most of the other terms defined here came to public attention only in the mid eighties, as environmental concerns were in general brought to prominence by the green movement. Public awareness of the potentially damaging effects of creating an ozone hole was possibly heightened by the results of research which linked overexposure to ultraviolet radiation with skin cancers, although the environmental effects of a large ozone hole would be so devastating to weather systems, agriculture, and animal life on the planet that some argued that the cancer risk was a minor concern. Other terms using ozone in this context include

ozone-benign, ozone destroyer (and ozone destruction), ozone safe, and ozone-unfriendly (see unfriendlyý). Scientists expected from some mathematical models that the next very large ozone hole over Antarctica would occur in 1990. New York Times 23 Sept. 1989, p. 2 Many ozone-friendly aerosols use hydrocarbons as the propellant; these have a higher risk of ignition or explosion if misused. Which? Sept. 1989, p. 431 HCFC-123...has the potential to break down some ozone, although its ozone depletion potential (ODP) has been calculated at only 0.02. New Scientist 15 Sept. 1990, p. 34 First of all, polystyrene loose fill is not made with ozone-depleting CFCs or HCFCs, but with hydrocarbons. Garbage Nov.-Dec. 1990, p. 73 ozone-unfriendly (Environment) see unfriendlyý 16.0 P

16.1 package...

package noun (Science and Technology) In computing jargon, a closely related set of programs, usually all designed for the same purpose and sold or used as a unit. Etymology: A specialized use of the figurative sense of package, 'any related group of objects that is viewed or

organized as a unit'. History and Usage: The word package has been used in computing for at least two decades, but it was the appearance on the market in the early eighties of large numbers of commercial software packages for home computers and PCs that brought the word into popular usage. To the lay user, the commercial software package can appear to be a single program, since it contains all the software required to carry out a single function (such as word processing or statistical analysis) and there is usually a user interface which draws together the various programs into a single menu of functions. The finished animation was then imported into Macromind Director, a 2D moving graphics package, where it was layered over a textured background. Creative Review Mar. 1990, p. 52 It's the first UNIX spreadsheet package to take advantage of windowing, mouse support, dialog boxes, and pulldown menus. UnixWorld Apr. 1990, p. 145 Pac-Man° noun Also written PacMan or Pac-man (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) The trade mark of an electronic computer game in which the player guides a voracious blob-shaped character through a maze, gobbling up lines of dots on the way and avoiding being eaten by opposing characters. Also, the name of the central character, represented on the screen as a yellow circle with a section missing for the mouth (similar to a pie-chart from which one 'slice' of the pie has been removed). Etymology: Like most trade marks, this one is of uncertain origins; Pac is probably a respelling of pack, referring to the fact that the little creature's whole object in life is to pack away (eat) everything that gets in its way. History and Usage: Pac-Man appeared on the market in October 1980, at the height of a boom in video games in the US, and

proved one of the most successful and popular of the games then available in video arcades. Surprisingly it was not registered as a trade mark in the US until 1983, by which time it was widely available in other countries and the video arcade market was beginning to wane. The Pac-Man character had become a well-known symbol in its own right by the mid eighties--giving rise to the figurative sense in Pac-Maný--and even acquired a family (including Pac Baby and a cat) in versions for home video use. The idea of the game was copied in a computer virus in the late eighties (see the Network World quotation below). Among the viruses now invading or about to invade systems are: The PacMan virus. This one shows up on Apple Computer, Inc. Macintosh systems. The user gets to watch as PacMan eats the file on the screen. Network World 6 Feb. 1989, p. 85 1981: Joystickmania was led by Pac-Man, which gobbled up nearly $1 billion--25 cents at a time--in a nation suddenly hip-deep in video arcades. Life Fall 1989, p. 63 Pac-Maný noun (Business World) Used attributively (in Pac-Man defence or Pac-Man strategy) of a company's response to a take-over bid: involving a counter-bid in which the company facing the take-over threatens to take over the 'predator' instead. Etymology: A figurative use of Pac-Man°: the situation is likened to a game of Pac-Man, in which the central character can, in certain circumstances, gobble up the monsters that threaten to devour it. History and Usage: The Pac-Man strategy was first so named in 1982--less than two years after the video game came on to the market--bearing witness to the way in which the little yellow gobbler had caught the imagination of the general public. The name was coined by New York investment bankers and first reported by Deborah A. De Mott in the Wall Street Journal in August 1982. By the end of 1982 it had been used in a number of

markets outside the US as well. Martin Marietta's strong countermove is in line with a budding takeover defense plan that Wall Street arbitragers and investment bankers alike yesterday were calling 'the Pac-Man strategy'. 'That's where my client eats yours before yours eats mine,' a merger specialist at one major investment banking firm said. Wall Street Journal 31 Aug. 1982, p. 3 The board saw the tactic as an ASCAP, an assured second-strike capability; someone else called it a Pac-Man defence, after the video gobblers. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 26 Dec. 1987, p. 16 paintball noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (War and Weaponry) A type of war-game practised as a sport or hobby, in which teams of combatants in military clothing attempt to capture the opposing team's flag, eliminating members of the opposition by firing pellets of brightly coloured paint from a type of airgun; also, the pellet of paint used in this pastime. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the bullet is replaced by a ball of paint, which bursts on impact to stain the clothing of the opponent. History and Usage: The sport of paintball began in the US in the early eighties, but paintball did not, it seems, become its established name until about the middle of the decade. In the second half of the eighties it became an increasingly popular leisure activity in the US and the UK, an international association was formed for the sport, and a number of magazines were published on this subject alone. The paintball itself, which is fired from a gun using carbon dioxide as a propellant, is a thick-skinned gelatin capsule filled with paint, which may be of any colour; its purpose is to 'tag' a player as having been hit, since it bursts on impact and leaves a bright-coloured stain on the opponent's clothing. Protective eyewear prevents any injury from the paintball if it hits the face. Some people saw the rapid growth of interest in paintball as a worrying sign

of an increasingly violent and militaristic ethos among the young (see Rambo and survivalism), but its followers emphasized the fact that it was actually a very safe sport, teaching teamwork and strategic thinking. The word paintball is often used attributively, in paintball combat, paintball (war)-game, and paintball team. A player of the sport is sometimes called a paintballer. Tucker has found a way to shoot people by playing a war game, Paintball, in which he and squads of weekend guerillas stalk each other through the woods with air guns that fire blobs of paint instead of bullets. Chicago Tribune 18 Dec. 1987, section 5, p. 3 Five years since their introduction into Britain, the industry of paintball wargames continues to expand, attracting grown men and women back to a more sophisticated version of the games they once played as children with toy guns in their gardens. Guardian 3 July 1989, p. 20 Paintballers come from all walks of life and we share a love of excitement and the open air. Paintball Games Oct. 1989, p. 5 palm-top (Science and Technology) see laptop paper

noun (Drugs) In the slang of drug users, a packet containing a dose of a drug; in recent use, especially a packet of ice. Etymology: A piece of paper folded up as a container or wrapper for something (such as a medicinal powder) has been called a paper for many centuries (the earliest examples in English go back to the sixteenth century); it is a logical step--admittedly after a long interval--to this more specialized use, even though in practice the drugs may be in small bags rather than folded pieces of paper.

History and Usage: A folded piece of paper containing some illicit drug has been known as a paper since illegal drug-taking first became a problem in the thirties; by the sixties the word was being used for any packet or dose of drugs, whether in a folded paper or not; a heroin pusher was known as a paper boy. When the drug ice first came on the market in 1989, a one-tenth gram dose immediately became known as a paper even though there is no evidence that it was ever distributed in folded paper. In Hawaii, one-tenth gram or 'paper' of ice costs $50 and usually produces an eight- to 30-hour high. Boston Globe 8 Dec. 1989, p. 3 parasailing noun Also written para-sailing (Lifestyle and Leisure) The sport of gliding through the air attached to an open parachute and towed by a speedboat. Etymology: Formed by combining the first two syllables of parachute with sailing, probably after the model of parascending. History and Usage: Parasailing developed at the very end of the sixties but did not become established as a sport until the second half of the seventies. Essentially, parasailing is an airborne variation on water-skiing; it differs from parascending in that the person being towed remains attached to the tow boat rather than letting go once the right height has been reached. The verb parasail has been back-formed from parasailing and can be used transitively or intransitively; a person who does this is a parasailer or parasailor (the spelling variation displaying uncertainty as to whether verbs ending in -sail should form their derivatives in the same way as sail: compare boardsailer and boardsailor under boardsailing). There are glass-bottomed boats, Canadian canoes, sailboats and windsurfers--you can even go parasailing. Meridian Spring 1990, p. 42 parascending

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A variation on the sport of parachuting, in which participants are first towed by a motor vehicle or speedboat while wearing the open parachute, so as to gain sufficient height from which to descend. Etymology: Formed by telescoping parachute and ascending to make a blend. History and Usage: Parascending was an earlier innovation than parasailing, having developed in the sixties, at first as a safe variation on parachuting which dispensed with the complications of making a parachute jump. By the mid seventies it was becoming established as a sport in its own right, and during the eighties was among the group of fast-growing action sports that managed to increase their popular appeal. The verb parascend was back-formed from parascending; a person who practises the sport is a parascender. New amendments to the Air Navigation Order and the revision of CAP 403 'Code of Conduct for Air Displays' now encompass the modern features in aviation, such as microlights and parascending which were not previously mentioned. Air Display Dec. 1988 -Feb. 1989, p. 3 Parentline (People and Society) see -line passive smoking noun (Health and Fitness) Involuntary inhalation of tobacco smoke from smokers in one's immediate vicinity or with whom one shares an environment. Etymology: Formed by compounding: smoking which is passive rather than active. The English term may be modelled on the German compound word Passivrauchen. History and Usage: Passive smoking was first recognized and named by medical researchers investigating the health hazards of

tobacco smoke in the early seventies. The health risks of smoking became clearer and its popularity waned during the seventies and eighties; at the same time the plight of the passive smoker, living or working with a heavy smoker and forced to breathe smoke-filled air, gained ever greater popular awareness and sympathy. The passive smoker is exposed mainly to 'sidestream' smoke given off directly from a cigarette, pipe or cigar. Scotsman 16 June 1986, p. 11 In recent years scientists have found that passive smoking is a significant hazard for healthy people too. In 1988 the Froggatt Report, the Fourth Report of the Independent Scientific Committee on Smoking and Health, stated that exposure to tobacco smoke increased the risk of lung cancer in non-smokers by up to 30 per cent and may account for several hundred deaths in Britain each year. Independent on Sunday 29 July 1990, Sunday Review section, p. 51 Patriot noun (War and Weaponry) The name (more fully Patriot missile system) of a computerized air-defence missile system developed in the US and designed for early detection and interception of incoming missiles or aircraft; also, a missile deployed as part of this system (known more fully as a Patriot missile). Etymology: A figurative use of patriot 'a person who is devoted to and ready to defend his or her country'; the Patriot missile is ready to defend the home country from attack by airborne forces. History and Usage: The Patriot system was developed by Raytheon in the US during the late seventies and early eighties; the first Patriots were put into service by NATO in Germany in 1985, as a replacement for the Hawk and Hercules systems. The first Patriot ever to be fired operationally, however, was in the Gulf

War of 1991, when the system was deployed to great effect by allied forces against Iraqi Scud missiles. The computerized tracking system of the Patriot locates incoming missiles, works out their expected trajectory, and if necessary launches an intercepting Patriot missile, which 'locks on' to the incoming missile and destroys it in mid air. The name Patriot is sometimes used as a proper name, without a preceding article. The antimissile era has dawned in thunder and flame as wave after wave of Patriots has knocked Iraqi Scuds out of the sky. But the Patriot is just the beginning. New York Times 5 Feb. 1991, section C, p. 1 Iraq has fired 68 Scud missiles--35 at Israel, 33 at Saudi Arabia. The allies have launched about 130 Patriots against them. Independent on Sunday 17 Feb. 1991, p. 2 16.2 PC...


abbreviation (Science and Technology) Short for personal computer, a microcomputer designed for personal office or home use by a single user at any given time; specifically, such a computer designed and marketed by International Business Machines Corporation and known as the IBM PC. Etymology: The initial letters of Personal Computer. History and Usage: From 1982 until it was replaced by the PS2 series at the end of the eighties, the IBM PC was the acknowledged standard among 16-bit microcomputers, with the result that the abbreviation was very often used to refer to this particular model. Other computer manufacturers quickly set about copying the PC; such a model became known as a PC clone (sometimes simply a clone) or a PC-compatible (also used as an adjective). By the end of the decade, though, with IBM marketing the PS2, PC alone was regularly used again for any personal computer. A personal computer with a hard disc might be

described as a PC XT (after the appropriate IBM model) and one with 'advanced technology' (using a more advanced chip) as a PC AT, on the same principle. BGL Technology's LaserLeader line of plotter/printer splits the responsibilities for the front-end work and graphics processing between an embedded PC AT and a graphics processor. UnixWorld Sept. 1989, p. 137 Choose a PC which has...a colour EGA (enhanced graphics adaptor) monitor which will be able to display the games and educational software, and has a resolution high enough for your word processing. Which? May 1990, p. 271 PCB°

abbreviation (Environment) Short for polychlorinated biphenyl, any of a number of chemical compounds which are obtained by adding chlorine atoms to biphenyl and which cause persistent environmental pollution. Etymology: The initial letters of parts of the chemical name PolyChlorinated Biphenyl. History and Usage: PCBs were widely used in old electrical transformers, hydraulic and lubricating oils, paints, lacquers, varnishes, and the plastics industry, until they were recognized as very toxic pollutants in the late sixties. They are difficult to dispose of and have been shown to be carcinogenic in people and animals, with the result that production of them was stopped in the US and the UK during the late seventies. What brought them into the public eye in the eighties was the general upsurge of interest in environmental issues; the persistent problem of disposing of the PCBs which were so liberally used in the fifties and sixties, before it was realized that they could be so dangerous, has meant that they remain on the green agenda. The emergency meeting of 18 scientists...called for every effort to be made to reduce the leakage into the environment of an extremely long-lasting and toxic type

of pollutant, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Independent 12 Aug. 1988, p. 1 The otters take in the PCB from the fish that they eat along with other pollutants. Earth Matters Summer 1990, p. 4 PCBý

abbreviation (Science and Technology) Short for printed circuit board, a flat sheet carrying the printed circuits and microchips in a microcomputer or other microelectronic device. Etymology: The initial letters of Printed Circuit Board. History and Usage: A common abbreviation in writing on computing and electronics since the seventies; it is now sometimes used in less technical sources and is included here to distinguish it from the commoner use above. If you look inside its workings, you will find the PCB (printed circuit board), with all the chips or ICs (integrated circuits), neatly plugged into it. Observer 3 Oct. 1982, p. 21


abbreviation (Drugs) In the slang of drug users, the drug phencyclidine hydrochloride, taken illegally for its hallucinogenic effects. Etymology: The initials are said to come from PeaCe Pill, an early street name for the drug, although they could as easily come from PhenCyclidine Pill. History and Usage: The drug was introduced as an anaesthetic in the late fifties, but was soon limited therapeutically to veterinary use. It began to be taken illicitly as a hallucinogen in the psychedelic sixties; in the eighties it enjoyed a revival with the new psychedelia of acid house. PCP has had over 150 street names, some of which are listed in the entry for angel

dust (the most enduring of all of them). In parallel with the rise in gang warfare has been the increasing availability of PCP...on the street drug-market. Listener 7 June 1984, p. 7 We talked to kids who got stoned on PCP at eight in the morning, just to start the day. Girl About Town 30 Jan. 1989, p. 11 PCPý

abbreviation (Health and Fitness) Short for pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, a fatal form of pneumonia caused by infection with the Pneumocystis carinii parasite, which especially affects the immunocompromised (such as people with Aids). Etymology: The initial letters of Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia. History and Usage: Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, in which numerous cysts form inside the lung cavity, was first observed and named in the fifties and commonly abbreviated to PCP from the mid seventies. It was its rapid spread among people with Aids in the early and mid eighties that brought the name and the abbreviation out of the specialized domain of medical vocabulary and into widespread public use, especially in the US. Three months after we'd moved in together, we learned Keith had [Aids]. The tip-over diagnosis was PCP. Michael Bishop Unicorn Mountain (1988; 1989 ed.), p. 61

16.3 peace camp...

peace camp noun (Politics) (War and Weaponry) A camp set up by peace campaigners, usually outside a military

establishment, as a long-term protest against the build-up of weapons. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a camp for peace. History and Usage: The peace camp was a phenomenon of the early eighties, when the campaign against nuclear weapons in particular was at its height and peace campaigners felt that their protests had as yet found little response in the actions and policies of the superpowers. In the UK, the name peace camp is particularly associated with the women's camp outside the US airbase at Greenham Common in Berkshire (see wimmin), where some campaigners continued to live a decade or more after the camp was set up in 1981. Soviet newspapers are full of praise for the anti-nuclear activities of the women's peace camps at Greenham Common in Britain and elsewhere. Economist 15 Mar. 1986, p. 63 peace dividend noun (Politics) A saving in public spending on defence, brought about by the end of a conflict or successful disarmament negotiations. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a dividend for the public purse because of a period of peace. History and Usage: The idea of the peace dividend originated in the US in the late sixties as people began to speculate about an end to the Vietnam War. In practice, the expected surplus of public money did not materialize in the mid seventies and talk of a peace dividend largely died down until the late eighties. Then it was much discussed as an expected benefit--for the US, other NATO countries, and the Warsaw Pact--of the ending of the Cold War and the resulting disarmament on both sides. Once again, it largely failed to materialize, this time because of the allied involvement in the Gulf War in 1991. Two Senate committees, Budget and Armed Services, have...already held hearings on what has come to be

called the 'peace dividend'. That is the money that will become available as military spending is reduced because of improved relations with the Soviet Union. International Herald Tribune 21 Dec. 1989, p. 6 The awful truth may be that the peace dividend, if there is one, will be of less benefit to Europe than to the Americans, who have talked of cutting their defence budget by 25 per cent. Observer 13 May 1990, p. 16 peace pill (Drugs) see PCP° peace wimmin (Politics) (War and Weaponry) see wimmin Pearlygate (People and Society) see -gate PEP

acronym Also written P.E.P. or pep (Business World) Short for personal equity plan, an investment scheme intended to extend share ownership in the UK, under which investors are allowed to acquire shares up to a given value in UK companies without paying tax on dividends or capital gains. Etymology: The initial letters of Personal Equity Plan; the acronym might well have been chosen with the resulting 'word' in mind, suggesting that this initiative would pep up the market in UK shares. History and Usage: The PEP was an innovation introduced in the mid eighties by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson as a deliberate incentive to widespread share ownership in the UK; the scheme coincided with the beginning of the government's privatization programme which, it hoped, would result in a large proportion of the British population owning and controlling their own service industries. The scheme presupposed long-term investment, so the tax advantage could only be earned if the investment remained in the Plan for a

minimum period. Many high-street banks and other financial institutions introduced their own PEPs, many of which included the services of a PEP manager to make the investment decisions if the investor did not wish to manage his or her own portfolio. There was also provision for a particular preference or bias to be put on the investments--the investor might request ethical investment or even a green PEP (one concentrating on environmentally sound investment), for example. PEPS--Personal Equity Plans--are Mr Lawson's subtle persuaders which will, he hopes, turn us into a nation of shareholders. Estates Gazette 9 Aug. 1986, p. 555 Your mortgage can be repaid by an endowment linked to an Ethical Fund or indeed by a Green P.E.P. Green Magazine Dec. 1989, p. 55 perestroika noun Also written perestroyka (Politics) The 'restructuring' or reform of the economic and political system in the Soviet Union, first proposed in 1979 and actively promoted under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev from 1985 onwards. Hence any fundamental reorganization or reform, especially of a socialist society. Etymology: A direct borrowing from Russian perestroyka, literally 'rebuilding, restructuring'. The same Russian word had been used within the Soviet Union to refer to the electrification programme of the twenties. History and Usage: The policy of perestroika in the Soviet Union evolved out of an awareness among the central leadership of the deep economic and social crisis that the country seemed to be facing at the very end of the seventies, with widespread corruption, excessive bureaucracy, and industrial stagnation as some of its principal symptoms. The problem was the subject of a series of decisions of the Central Committee of the CPSU in April 1979; these were reported to the 26th Party Congress by Leonid Brezhnev, who said:

It is a question of restructuring--yes, this was not a slip of the tongue, I said restructuring--many sectors and areas of ideological work. Despite this announcement, little actual progress was made towards perestroika until 1985, when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power and made it a central tenet (along with glasnost) of his policy. The Central Committee considered a detailed programme for perestroika in April 1985, based on a careful analysis of the state of the economy. This became the basis for a plan announced by Mikhail Gorbachev at the 27th Party Congress in February-March 1986. This Congress was unique in the history of CPSU Congresses for its open criticism of Soviet industry, bureaucracy, and society, and its call to radical change. Gorbachev himself saw perestroika as nothing less than a new revolution; as he wrote in his book Perestroika (1987): In the spring of 1985, the Party put this task on the agenda. The gravity of accumulated and emerging problems, and the delay in their understanding and solution necessitated acting in a revolutionary way and proclaiming a revolutionary overhaul of society. Perestroika is a revolutionary process for it is a jump forward in the development of socialism. Perestroika was widely discussed in the West at the time when it was first announced, and was generally seen as a sign of real change in Soviet society, especially since it was to be based on democratization. However, it proved less popular within the Soviet Union, where it seemed to make little difference to the availability of goods and even, some people argued, made life harder for the ordinary citizen. By the early nineties perestroika had become the focus for a head-on fight between Mr Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, leader of the Russian Federation, who declared ideological war on the administration which had brought in the policy of perestroika. Meanwhile perestroika had become a byword in English for any radical reform, especially of a socialist country or system; one sign of the word's acceptance into the language was the fact that it soon acquired the derivative perestroikan (an adjective and noun). Were Czechoslovakia to catch perestroika fever as

strongly as Poland and Hungary, the troika could embark on a path that would seriously threaten Moscow's strategic interests. Guardian 29 July 1989, p. 8 Mr Kohl, the clever tactician who substitutes instinct for any lack of intellect is playing a hand of fear: a fear that perestroika could soon be over and with it the Soviet willingness to accept a new order of democracy in Europe. European 25-27 May 1990, p. 9 Yesterday's NEC decision to reduce the clout of the union block vote at conference was a valuable if partial and belated contribution. But as Frank Field knows, you can't get perestroika overnight, particularly when your route to reform requires the assent of the very institutions which need reforming. Guardian 28 June 1990, p. 18 personal computer (Science and Technology) see PC personal equity plan (Business World) see PEP personal identification number (Business World) see PIN personal organizer noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) An organizer for keeping track of one's personal affairs (appointments, commitments, finances, etc.), in paper or electronic form: either a loose-leaf notebook with sections for different types of information, pockets for credit cards, pens, etc. (a generic term for Filofax) or an electronic diary and notebook in the form of a pocket-sized microcomputer or software for a personal computer.

Etymology: Formed by compounding: an organizer for one's personal life. History and Usage: The transformation of the appointments diary into the personal organizer took place in the early eighties as the fashion for the Filofax among yuppies encouraged other firms to manufacture similar systems and a name was sought which was not protected as a trade mark. A growing preoccupation with organizing information (especially in the form of electronic data) coincided in the second half of the eighties with the development of ever smaller computers at affordable prices; the term personal organizer was not yet so firmly associated in the public mind with loose-leaf notebooks as to preclude its application to these electronic organizers as well, a process which began to take place in the late eighties and early nineties. These busy people all rely on personal organizers--compact, three-ring binders designed to keep track of various aspects of one's life. Los Angeles Times 20 Aug. 1985, section 4, p. 1 We have given you the chance to get your life back into some sort of shape with the amazing Agenda word processor/personal organizer. CU Amiga Apr. 1990, p. 71 personkind noun (People and Society) The human race; humankind. (Invented as a humorous non-sexist substitute for mankind.) Etymology: Formed by substituting the non-sexist word person for man in mankind. History and Usage: It was the feminist movement of the seventies that promoted the word person--both as a freestanding word and as a word-forming element--as the successor to man in its centuries-old broader sense of 'human being'. Many of the formations which resulted, including chairperson (see chair) and

statesperson, appeared awkward or even comical to those who had grown up with the forms ending in -man without ever thinking of them as referring exclusively to males, and the view was not infrequently expressed that the move towards inclusive language had gone too far too fast. It was in this context that the word personkind was coined in the early seventies as a humorous alternative for mankind, intended to ridicule the use of personfor man-. During the eighties, as the feminist view of language became more widely accepted, the word personkind retained a place in the vocabulary of English but remained largely tongue-in-cheek in its use. Sonja fights for her life and the lives of all personkind. Video Today Apr. 1986, p. 36 The artificial ring of the new alternatives (like 'personkind') is counterproductive because it is faintly ridiculous to scrupulously avoid all possible references to gender, even when no reference to a particular sex is implied. Music Technology Apr. 1990, p. 10 person with Aids (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) see PWA 16.4 p-funk...


(Music) (Youth Culture) see funk

16.5 phencyclidine...

phencyclidine (Drugs) see PCP° phonecard noun Also written phone card or phone-card (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) In the UK, a plastic card (see card°) providing a specified

number of units of telephone time, which may be bought in advance from any of a number of retail outlets and then used in a special call-box known as a cardphone or phonecard kiosk/phone, etc. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a card for the phone. History and Usage: Plans for a phonecard system, which would solve many of the problems with theft and vandalism that plagued coin-in-the-slot pay phones, were announced by British Telecom in 1980 (at first using the name Phonocard). A public-service trial of the system began in 1981, and within three years it was being expanded to provide several thousand more cardphone kiosks. The phonecard is inserted into a slot before dialling; a liquid crystal display on the computerized box shows the caller how many units remain to be used and what the computer is deducting for the current call. At first, the kiosks that were fitted to take the credit-card-sized phonecard were known as cardphones; by the middle of the eighties, though, the logo on the kiosks read phonecard and it seemed that British Telecom was trying to simplify things by using a single name for all the parts of the system. Colloquially, though, there is some variation; cardphone remains in use, as do synonyms for phonecard such as telephone card. There are 700 Phonecard phones in London and these are expected to be increased to around 5,000 by 1987. Ambit Sept. 1985, p. 8 Subscribers will be sent a 'smart' card--a bit like a phonecard--which switches on the decoder. Which? Sept. 1989, p. 444 He went into an Indian grocery and provided himself with a telephone card and a stack of change. He walked over Putney Bridge and into Fulham, where he found a cardphone box that had to be functioning because it had a long queue. He waited. Two people, a black man and a white woman, exhausted their cards. Antonia Byatt Possession (1990), p. 327

photonovel noun Also written photo-novel (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) A piece of (usually romantic) fiction for young adults, in which the story is told in strip-cartoon fashion as a series of photographs with superimposed speech bubbles (rather than actual cartoons). Etymology: Formed by compounding: a novel told in a series of photos. History and Usage: The photonovel, which is often published in serial form with each individual story sometimes known as a photonovelette, was originally a popular form of romantic fiction for European (especially Italian) teenagers, dating from at least the early sixties. In the late seventies the idea was imported to the US with some success, being used among other things for the 'book' publication of a number of films for teenagers such as Grease and Alien. By the mid eighties, photonovel series were available in the UK as well; their popularity among certain groups of young people was seen by some as a symptom of declining literacy. Photonovels are here...These photonovels are the American counterparts of magazines that have been raging successes in Europe for decades. Daily News (New York) 11 July 1978, p. 40 He...fronted a rock band, wrote a porno photo-novel, and for a decade worked for the state phone company. Time 30 Jan. 1989, p. 68 See also graphic novel photo opportunity noun Also written photo-opportunity (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Politics) In media jargon (especially in the US): an organized opportunity

for press photographers and cameramen to take pictures of a celebrity or group of celebrities. Etymology: Formed by compounding: an opportunity to take a photo. History and Usage: The idea of the photo opportunity originated in the US in the mid seventies, but was turned to advantage particularly by President Ronald Reagan and his administration during the eighties--a technique which other politicians did not fail to note. Journalism developed in such a way during the eighties that a historic agreement or summit of world leaders could be summarized in the results of a photo opportunity and perhaps a sound bite of an official statement, and politicians became the ones hounded for a picture, taking the place of the film stars of previous decades. This approach to world events has been called photo-opportunistic; a person who takes advantage of it is a photo opportunist. By the end of the eighties photo opportunity itself was often abbreviated to photo op. They operate in the slick new tradition of political handlers, whose job is to reduce a campaign to photo ops and sound bites. Time 21 Nov. 1988, p. 144 We must not be dazzled by these photo-opportunistic images. This modern magical foil for our memory can help us discover anew the luxury of retrospect. Life Fall 1989, p. 37 The rebuilding of Eastern Europe offers Tories photo-opportunities galore but confronts the Foreign Office with one of its trickiest tests in years. Economist 2 June 1990, p. 29 16.6 piece...


(Youth Culture) see tagý

pig out

intransitive verb (Lifestyle and Leisure)

In US slang: to overindulge one's appetite, to overeat; to 'make a pig of oneself'. Etymology: Formed by adding out to the verb pig in the sense 'to act or eat like a pig', making a phrasal verb on the same model as mellow out and max out (see max). History and Usage: The expression pig out has probably been in spoken use in US English for some considerable time, but in the late seventies and eighties it started to appear in printed sources, often without any indication of its slang origins. Typically, one pigs out on a particular food; a binge of overindulgence can be referred to by the noun pigout. Troy and Vanessa...pig out for days on leftover Halloween candy. Jane Fonda Jane Fonda's Workout Book (1981), p. 29 To prevent Americans from pigging out on between-meal snacks, herewith Time 11 May 1987, p. 29 pilger

intransitive verb (Lifestyle and Leisure) In British media slang, to treat a subject or present an investigation in a manner supposedly characteristic of the investigative journalist John Pilger, especially when this entails exposing human suffering or drawing conclusions which reflect badly on the actions of a powerful government or institution. Etymology: The surname of Australian-born investigative journalist John Pilger, treated as a verb. History and Usage: Pilger was the creation of Spectator journalist Auberon Waugh and has remained a favourite word with him and a small group of other journalists since the mid eighties. There is wide variation in the way that it is used,

reflecting differing attitudes to John Pilger's own style of reporting. On the one hand (represented by Waugh and friends), it can be a highly critical and negative word, implying that the subject is being treated emotionally and with little regard for factual detail; sometimes, in fact, it is used as though it were only one step removed from outright lying. On the other hand (usually represented by the politically left-wing), there are those who admire Pilger's style and nerve and who use it with implications of compassionate reporting on behalf of powerless victims against the rich and powerful. A plethora of other words based on pilger grew up during the eighties, the commonest being the action noun pilgering and the adjective pilgerish; rarer and less established derivatives include pilgerism, pilgerist, and pilgerization. It was a brilliant piece of pilgering to claim that he knew of a miner's family in Durham which possessed only one pair of shoes, although at the time of writing he has not produced so much as a photograph of this model family for us to weep over as John [Pilger] would undoubtedly have done. Auberon Waugh in Spectator 24 Nov. 1984, p. 8 Le pilgerisme. From the English verb 'to pilger', this expresses the continuous action of going on the television and suggesting at length...that war, pestilence, governmental corruption in South-east Asia/Central America/the Lebanon etc. are essentially the fault of the Americans in general and the lack of land reform in particular. Spectator 24 Mar. 1984, p. 12 J. G. Dudley's question (Letters, 31 January) about the word 'pilgering' and 'pilgerish' is quickly answered. The verb to pilger means to regard with insight, compassion and sympathy. Spectator 7 Feb. 1987, p. 26 PIN

acronym (Business World)

Short for personal identification number, a confidential code-number allocated to the holder of a cash card or credit card for use when the card is inserted into a cash dispenser or ATM. Etymology: The initial letters of Personal Identification Number. History and Usage: The PIN (sometimes tautologically called a PIN code or PIN number) appeared at the beginning of the eighties, when greatly improved machines ensured that public take-up of automatic cash dispensing began to increase, and greater protection against misuse became necessary. The PIN is a security measure, designed to render the cards useless to a thief, since the machine will not carry out a transaction until the PIN has been keyed in correctly; the PIN relating to a particular card must therefore be revealed only to the card-holder, who must keep it secret. This need for secrecy has led to all kinds of mnemonics and means of writing the number down in a way which a thief would not recognize. Self-service machines which allow a customer to pay for goods and services using a credit card and the appropriate PIN were introduced in 1984 with the trade mark Pinpoint. Where the card-holder had disclosed his PIN, or recorded the PIN with the card, the card-holder was liable for any unauthorized transactions. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 14 July 1986, p. 25 For motorists..., we're installing Pinpoint machines for buying petrol in Shell garages all over the country. Daily Telegraph 24 Feb. 1987, p. 5 I reported the missing credit cards...but I did not call my bank that evening, trusting that nobody could use that card without the PIN code. New York Times 21 Nov. 1989, section A, p. 24 16.7 PLA, PLWA...

PLA, PLWA (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) see PWA planet-friendly (Environment) see -friendly plastic noun (Business World) Colloquially, credit cards, debit cards, and other plastic cards which can be used in place of money to pay for goods and services. Etymology: So named because this form of credit is obtained using a piece of plastic which serves as a membership card: see card°. Probably abbreviated to plastic from the longer (and earlier) plastic money (see below). History and Usage: The explosion of credit facilities and the consequent proliferation of credit cards which people carried in the seventies led to the development of the term plastic money in the US in about the middle of the decade; by the beginning of the eighties this was being abbreviated to plastic alone, and used colloquially as a collective term for all forms of credit. Thus 'Do you take plastic?' became a common way of asking to pay by credit card. It [is] easier than ever to spend money without seeing the real thing. 'The acceptance of plastic has reached an all-time high,' John Bennett, senior vice-president of Visa, said. 'Plastic has become a way of life.' Globe & Mail (Toronto) 10 Oct. 1985, section B, p. 13 To use your plastic in a cash machine, you need a personal identification number (PIN). Which? July 1988, p. 299 plausible deniability (Politics) see deniability playing the dozens (Youth Culture) see diss

16.8 pneumocystis carinii pneumonia...

pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (Health and Fitness) see PCPý 16.9 poaching...

poaching (Business World) see headhunt poison pill noun (Business World) Any of a number of ploys (such as a conditional rights issue) which may be adopted by the intended target of an unwelcome take-over bid in order to make itself unattractive to the bidder. Etymology: A metaphorical application of a word-combination which is usually used in the context of combat and espionage. Whereas the spy carries a poison pill for personal use when cornered, the company facing a hostile bid uses it to give the aggressors a taste of their own medicine. History and Usage: In its literal sense, poison pill has been in use since the Second World War; the figurative use arose in the US financial markets in the early eighties, at first usually in the phrase poison pill defence or poison pill device, and was allegedly coined by US lawyer Martin Lipman in his defence of El Paso Natural Gas in 1982. It was adopted (as a device and a term) on the British Stock Exchange in the mid eighties. Despite attempts to limit the practice, it remained popular in a number of markets and generated several variants. Another name for essentially the same type of defence is a shark repellent. Lenox played hard to get...and implemented a novel anti-takeover devise to discourage Brown-Forman Distillers takeover bid. The move is called the 'Poison Pill defense'. New York Times 19 June 1983, section 3, p. 14

An American appeals court judge last week issued an important ruling against the use of...'poison pills'...which embattled corporations are adopting as a defence against hostile takeover bids. Daily Telegraph 4 Aug. 1986, p. 19 A 'poison pill', limiting shareholders' voting rights to 5% regardless of the size of their stake, killed Veba's enthusiasm for the merger. EuroBusiness June 1990, p. 7 poll-capping (Business World) see cap poll tax noun (Business World) (Politics) A colloquial name in the UK for the community charge, used especially by its opponents. Etymology: So named because it is a capitation tax, that is a tax levied on every person, or 'head' of population (poll being an old word for 'head'); poll-tax is an ancient term, first used in England (in place of the earlier poll-money) for the capitation taxes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. History and Usage: The community charge was nicknamed poll tax by its opponents almost as soon as it was announced in 1985, and this name was soon used as frequently in print as its official counterpart (especially in the popular press). The growing wave of protest which the poll tax provoked centred on this derogatory nickname; its historical associations with the oppression of the populace in earlier centuries, when the poll money, too, had provoked civil unrest, meant that it offered protesters a considerably more emotive focus than the bland and official name community charge. For further history see community charge. Militant supporters started to form local anti-poll tax unions or to hijack ones formed by other groups...Many of the 'smash the poll tax' leaflets...are being printed

by Militant--the wealthiest of the Trotskyite groups--at its East London presses. The Times 8 Mar. 1990, p. 5 Mrs Thatcher's new communications supremo, Brendan Bruce, was quoted yesterday saying that the handling of the Harrods report was 'a classic cock-up'. How would he describe the handling of the poll tax fiasco? Today 12 Mar. 1990, p. 6 Leading poll tax protester Alistair Mitchell admitted organisers had asked European activists to join in. Daily Star 23 Oct. 1990, p. 2 polychlorinated biphenyl (Environment) see PCB° pop, popping (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) see body-popping Popmobility noun (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) The name of a physical exercise programme designed to be performed to the accompaniment of popular music. Etymology: Formed by compounding: mobility to the accompaniment of pop. History and Usage: Popmobility classes appear to have been a feature of local authority evening classes in the UK since the late seventies, perhaps providing a British counterpart for Jazzercise. During the eighties it had to compete with a large number of other fitness programmes, including aerobics, Aquarobics, and Cardiofunk. Reasons for learning specific crafts vary, from taking up woodcarving because the 'Popmobility' classes were full.

Artists Newsletter Nov. 1987, p. 20 posse

noun (Drugs) (Youth Culture) A gang of Black (especially Jamaican) youths involved in organized or violent (often drug-related) crime in the US. Now more widely in youth slang, one's gang or crowd; a group of friends. Etymology: A specialized sense of the existing word, representing a substantial shift of meaning: a posse was originally a group of people whose purpose was the enforcement of the law (and in this sense will be familiar to all lovers of Westerns). From here it developed to mean any strong band or company, was taken up in Black street slang (see below), and then came to be used specifically by police and journalists for a forceful band operating on the wrong side of the law. History and Usage: The first reports of the criminal kind of posse arose from the spread of the cocaine derivative crack in the US, and the associated rise of drug-related crime there in the mid eighties. Originating as it does from Black street slang, where it means no more than 'a gang or crowd' (and has been used since at least the early eighties), the word figured in the names of rap groups and lyrics and thereby spread to White youngsters as well, so that by the end of the decade it had become a fashionable way to refer to a group of one's friends--the people with whom one 'hangs out'. Having restrained my homeboys we walked away with dignity, but the whole posse was quite visibly in tears. City Limits 9 Oct. 1986, p. 52 Copeland's people are called the Beboes, a violent Jamaican drug posse operating big time in Queen's and Brooklyn. Newsday 17 May 1989, p. 3 You gotta mention my baby daughter AJ and the CIA dance posse.

Sky Magazine Apr. 1990, p. 18 post-bang (Business World) see big bang post-boomer (People and Society) see boomer post-lingually deafened (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) see deafened post-viral (fatigue) syndrome (Health and Fitness) see ME 16.10 pre-Aids...

pre-Aids (Health and Fitness) see Aids pre-lingually deaf (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) see deafened primeur

(Lifestyle and Leisure) see Beaujolais Nouveau

privatizer noun (Business World) (Politics) A person who advocates the transfer of nationalized industries to the private sector; someone who carries out privatization. Etymology: Formed by adding the agent suffix -er to the verb privatize, which has been used since the early seventies in the sense 'to assign (services, industries, etc.) to private enterprise'. History and Usage: Privatizer arose at the beginning of the eighties and has been used especially of members of the Conservative government in the UK, with its policy of selling national service industries and encouraging ordinary citizens to own the shares. Mr Redwood, the new under secretary, is an evangelical privatiser of similar persuasion and a leading light in the No Turning Back group of radical reformers.

Guardian 27 July 1989, p. 18 priviligentsia noun Also written privilegentsia (Politics) (People and Society) A class of intellectuals and Party bureaucrats in Communist countries who, until the reforms of the late eighties, enjoyed social and economic privileges over ordinary citizens; more widely, any privileged class. Etymology: Formed by telescoping privilege and intelligentsia to make a blend. History and Usage: Priviligentsia was coined, probably by Western observers, as the name for the privileged class of important Party members in the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact states as long ago as the fifties, but remained a specialized word used only in academic journals until the early eighties. Then it was taken up by the media as a convenient shorthand for all those who could avoid food shortages by shopping in special shops, speed through the traffic by travelling in specially reserved lanes, get jobs through friends and contacts, and generally lead a life of privilege and luxury which starkly contrasted with the life of ordinary people in the Soviet Union. The priviligentsia was one of the main targets of Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of perestroika in the second half of the eighties, and the group which had most to lose from the reform programme. By the middle of the decade, the English-language press had already extended the word's use to cover any group of people who either enjoyed or advocated privilege. An unholy alliance of Labour 'egalitarians' and the Tory 'priviligentsia'. Daily Telegraph 28 Jan. 1985, p. 16 These bureaucrats get their jobs under the nomenklatura or privilegentsia system, whereby Communist party members nominate their friends in return for kickbacks and privileged access to rationed goods.

Economist 30 May 1987, p. 72 When technology is expanding as fast as now, freer markets bring gains to everybody except the conservative privilegentsia. Sunday Telegraph 9 Aug. 1987, p. 20 pro-

prefix (People and Society) In favour of; used in a number of adjectives relating to the abortion debates of the late seventies and eighties, especially: pro-choice, in favour of a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion; pro-family, promoting family life and a return to a Christian moral code based on the family unit (and therefore opposed to the legalizing of abortion); pro-life, in favour of upholding the right to life of the developing foetus (and therefore against abortion). Etymology: The Latin prefix pro- used in its usual sense 'in favour of, on behalf of'; in all of these formations, whichever side of the issue they represent, there is an attempt to present a positive approach by choosing a term containing this prefix rather than a complementary term containing anti-: see the comments at anti-choice. History and Usage: All of these terms arose in the US in the seventies and by the early eighties had become central to an understanding of political debate there and important election issues in many States. Pro-choice was first used in the mid seventies, sometimes as a noun (short for pro-choice movement) as well as an adjective; by the end of the decade a supporter of this view was regularly known as a pro-choicer. Pro-life was a more positive adjective which the anti-abortion lobby applied to itself from the late seventies onwards (see the discussion under anti-choice); a supporter of this view is a pro-lifer. The pro-family campaign was a rather broader political issue (also a product of the late seventies), advocating a return to the values of family life and the moral standards of biblical

Christianity, but this, of course, also embraced a stand against abortion. Some 'pro-family' activists...noisily pressed their antiabortion and 'morality' platform. Bob Frishman American Families (1984), p. 15 Right-to-life groups, re-energized by the ruling, press for new laws limiting abortion, and their pro-choice counterparts rally to protect the gains embodied in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision. New York Times Magazine 6 Aug. 1989, p. 18 Abortion was legalized in 1973, but with 1.5 million women annually opting for the procedure during the '80s, the issue flared anew. Right-to-life advocates fostered shows of civil disobedience while a lunatic fringe bombed clinics. Last July the Supreme Court retreated from its landmark Roe v. Wade decision by allowing individual states to impose restrictions. [Photo caption] Cleveland: Steven Green, 25, is hauled from the entrance of an abortion clinic that he and other members of Operation Rescue, a national 'pro-life' group, had been blocking. Life Fall 1989, p. 98 See also right-to-life professional carer (People and Society) see carer program trading noun Also written programme trading (Business World) In financial jargon, trading in a basket of securities rather than single issues; more specifically, a type of arbitrage (see arb) in which traders take advantage of a difference in market values between a portfolio of securities and stock-index futures on essentially the same stocks, by taking a long or short position in the stocks at the same time as an offsetting

position in a futures contract. Etymology: Formed by compounding: this form of trading is complex and sophisticated, and can only be carried out with the aid of high-powered computer programs which show when there is a suitable discrepancy in values for the trader to exploit. History and Usage: Program trading is a phenomenon of the computerized financial markets of the eighties and arose in the US in the early years of the decade. It is a low-risk form of arbitrage, but one which normally involves very large portfolios of securities and considerable sums of money, and so it is only practised by those with substantial capital behind them. It has been criticized for creating great volatility in the markets, particularly at the times when options are about to expire (see triple witching hour), since a great deal of buying and selling can be sparked off at these times by program trading and the computer-driven nature of these deals means that they are regarded as less controllable than deals decided upon by human agents. The collapse of Wall Street's biggest sustained rally last week sparked new controversy over the use of computers by big investors for so-called program trading. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 27 Jan. 1987, p. 21 Wall Street is gradually returning to some semblance of stability. This process will greatly be helped by the curbs on computerised programme trading announced on Thursday by the New York Stock Exchange. Financial Times 4 Nov. 1989, Weekend FT, p. II If small investors want to end the stock market volatility that is being caused by program trading, they may have to stop complaining to their congressional representatives and stockbrokers and, instead, send off an angry letter to the guy who watches over their own pension money. Washington Post 5 Nov. 1989, section H, p. 15


(Business World) see OTE

16.11 psychobabble...

psychobabble (Lifestyle and Leisure) see -babble 16.12 puff-ball...

puff-ball noun Also written puffball (Lifestyle and Leisure) A short full skirt which is gathered in at the hemline to produce a soft puffy effect; a balloon skirt. (Usually attributive, in puff-ball dress or puff-ball skirt.) Etymology: So named because the resulting shape of the garment is like that of the puff-ball fungus. History and Usage: The puff-ball has been known to fashion designers under this name since the sixties; it enjoyed a brief fashion in 1986-8 after being promoted by a number of the top Paris designers, and this brought the word into the news. Christian Lacroix, the Paris designer, credited with introducing the pouffe, otherwise known as the puffball, into the grandest parties. The Times 9 June 1987, p. 25 She has abandoned skintight leathers and puffball minis, platinum rinses and bootlace ties. Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 16 Oct. 1988, p. 17 pull-by date (Health and Fitness) see sell-by date puppie

(People and Society) see yuppie

16.13 PWA...


abbreviation (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) Short for person with Aids, an official designation in the US which is also the preferred term for themselves (rather than Aids patient, Aids sufferer, or--most disliked of all--Aids victim) among those who have Aids. Etymology: The initial letters of Person With Aids. History and Usage: The term PWA arose as a direct result of the coming together of people with first-hand experience of Aids at the second Aids forum in the US, held in Denver, Colorado, in December 1983. At this forum a group of people who had Aids or ARC (see Aids) formed themselves into the Advisory Committee of People with Aids and issued a statement objecting to some of the other terms which had been applied to them in the past: We condemn attempts to label us as 'victims', which implies defeat, and we are only occasionally 'patients', which implies passivity, helplessness, and dependence upon the care of others. A variation on PWA is PLWA or PLA, both denoting person living with Aids. This arose, again among the people most intimately concerned, in the second half of the eighties and was designed to counteract the negative responses of the general public by emphasizing the fact of living with--rather than dying from--Aids. Among journalists and others who influence popular usage, however, PWA is the only one of these designations which has gained any currency; in the US in particular, it had become a well-known and widely used abbreviation by the early nineties, although the terms to which PWAs most object also remained frequent in the popular press. Sometimes the apparent sensitivity of the writer to the feelings of PWAs is cancelled out by an insensitive reversion to Aids victim within a few words. He found a place to live thanks to the Shanti Project, a charity subsidised by the municipality to help PWAs. It makes houses available to AIDS victims.

Guardian Weekly 26 Jan. 1986, p. 12 He explains that the race and class of most straight PWA's are proof that the 'heterosexual epidemic continued to fail to show up'. Village Voice (New York) 30 Jan. 1990, p. 61 17.0 Q

17.1 qinghaosu...

qinghaosu noun (Health and Fitness) A naturally occurring compound (also known as artemisinin) which is extracted from the Chinese plant Artemisia annua for use in the treatment of malaria. Etymology: A direct borrowing from Chinese qinghaosu, itself derived from qinghao, the Chinese name for the Artemisia plant, and a suffix meaning 'active principle'. The plant (a member of the wormwood family) grows alongside rivers in the North-East and South-West of China and is used as feed for pigs or against mosquitoes. History and Usage: The Chinese have known about the anti-malarial properties of the qinghao for many centuries--the leaves and stems are used in traditional Chinese medicine against fevers--but it was not until the early seventies that these were confirmed by rigorous testing and identification of the active ingredient, qinghaosu. News of the discovery was reported in the West in the late seventies and eighties; one reason for excitement over the discovery in medical circles is that this natural drug is effective against some types of malaria that are not treatable with synthetic anti-malarials. During the eighties qinghaosu was extracted from Artemisia plants cultivated outside China as well. One of the plants to come under scrutiny was a weed with a long history of use known in China as qing hao...The

Chinese named the crystalline compound qinghaosu, meaning active principle, and the western version of the name is Artemisinin. The Times 22 July 1985, p. 12 17.2 quaffable...

quaffable adjective (Lifestyle and Leisure) Of a wine: lending itself to being drunk copiously, drinkable. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -able to the verb quaff 'to drink (liquor) copiously'. History and Usage: This is one of the many words on the borderline between wine-lovers' slang and technical terminology that have thrived in the growing literature on wine in the eighties. It is an intensively fruity, soft-bodied wine,...charming and eminently quaffable. Washington Post 1 Dec. 1982, section E, p. 1 Were it not for 'a little local difficulty' we would here in Britain already be able to drink the very quaffable wines of Argentina. Wine Society Annual Review 21 Apr. 1987, p. 12 quagma

noun (Science and Technology)

In physics, a hypothetical state or body of matter consisting of free quarks and gluons. Etymology: Formed by combining the first three letters of quark, the initial letter of gluon, and the last two of plasma to make an artificial word designed to rhyme with magma. History and Usage: One of the most important areas of development in particle physics in the past two decades arises

from M. Gell-Man's theory of sub-atomic particles called quarks (after a line in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, 'Three quarks for Muster Mark!', but pronounced to the theory as it developed in the seventies, are bound together by the colour force carried by massless gluons (so named because they act as a kind of sub-atomic glue). The idea that under certain conditions the quarks and gluons would become mixed into a kind of plasma, called a quagma, was postulated in the mid eighties. Theory suggests that when the density of energy in nuclear matter is high enough, the quarks and gluons will no longer remain confined but will form a quagma. New Scientist 3 Mar. 1988, p. 45 quark

(Science and Technology) see quagma

quilling noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) The art or craft of paper filigree, in which elaborate pictures and designs are built up from curled strips of paper. Etymology: Formed by adding the action suffix -ing to the verb quill 'to form (ribbon, etc.) into small cylindrical plaits or curls'. The word quilling has been in use since the eighteenth century in the sense 'a ribbon, strip of lace or other material gathered into small cylindrical folds'. History and Usage: Quilling is a traditional craft, practised as paper filigree in the UK and as quill work in parts of the US for decades or even centuries. Like a number of other traditional crafts, though, it began to be promoted outside the small community in which it was traditionally practised during the seventies and benefited from the revival of interest in crafts which took place during the late seventies and eighties. In this revived use, the name given to the craft throughout the English-speaking world was quilling, and the word soon passed from technical terminology into more widespread usage. A practitioner of quilling is a quiller. Quillers have used all varieties of paper...In modern quilling, the choice of colors is broad.

Betty Christy & Doris Tracy Quilling: Paper Art for Everyone (1974), pp. 34 and 37 quiteron noun (Science and Technology) An electronic device which operates rather like a transistor in switching and amplifying, but uses superconducting materials rather than semiconductors and needs less power to do its switching. Etymology: Formed from letters taken from the full technical name of the effect on which its working depends, QUasiparticle Injection Tunnelling Effect, and the last three letters of -tron. History and Usage: The quiteron was developed by Sadeq Faris for IBM and patented in the US in 1982. When the invention was first announced to the electronics community in 1983, it was thought that it could eventually replace the principle of the semiconducting transistor; whether it will in fact do so remains to be seen. The quiteron is not the first superconducting device that engineers have considered for chips. New Scientist 10 Feb. 1983, p. 369 Quorn

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure)

The trade mark of a type of textured vegetable protein derived from a small edible fungus and marketed as a vegetarian meat substitute. Etymology: This vegetarian product is named after the Leicestershire company which originally made it, itself named after the village of Quorn (now Quorndon); ironically, this is also the name of a famous traditional fox-hunt in the area, an example of the blood sports to which many vegetarians would object on principle. History and Usage: Food novelties based on mycoprotein--now trade-named

Quorn--should be in the shops during this year. Financial Times 7 Jan. 1987, p. 11 Where Quorn scores over these other meat alternatives is that its plant fibres are almost identical in size to the fibres in meat, which produces the similar texture and eating quality. Fitness May 1988, p. 29 18.0 R

18.1 racquet abuse...

racquet abuse see abuse rad

adjective (Youth Culture) In young people's slang (especially in the US): really good or exciting; 'cool', 'hip', awesome. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating radical, itself a favourite term of approval among American youngsters in the eighties and originally (like tubular) a word used in Californian surfers' slang. Such slang terms of approval often get abbreviated to a snappy monosyllable--in the UK brilliant became brill by the same process. History and Usage: The longer form radical was used from the late sixties by surfers to describe a turn or other manoeuvre that was at the limits of control and safety, presumably by extending the political sense of the adjective 'representing the extreme section of a party'; this specific surfers' use was interpreted as the equivalent of far out and, like far out itself some time earlier, was soon weakened to express no more than approval and admiration for something. In the early eighties, as Californian surfers' slang became diluted and spread to a generation of young Americans through films and

Valspeak, radical and the abbreviated form rad began to crop up frequently as the currently fashionable accolade. By the middle of the decade it had spread outside the US as well; its popularity in the UK, especially among the very young, was fed by American television shows, comics, and the craze for the Turtles in the late eighties. Kim Robb...sat down with a group of Prairie teenagers to discuss things that were 'cool'...'The word now,' says Robb,...'is rad.' Maclean's 6 Sept. 1982, p. 48 The raddest moments on Louder Than Love sound like the raddest moments on the Cult's Sonic Temple. Spin Oct. 1989, p. 99 radical

(Health and Fitness) see free radical

radical hard SF (Lifestyle and Leisure) see cyberpunk radicchio noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) A type of chicory with reddish-purple white-veined leaves, used as a salad vegetable and as a decorative garnish. Etymology: A direct borrowing from Italian radicchio 'chicory'; this variety of chicory originally comes from Italy. History and Usage: The move towards a greater variety of fresh raw vegetables in British and American cooking was one of the beneficial results of the fashion for nouvelle cuisine (see nouvelle) in the late seventies and early eighties. Radicchio satisfied the desire of the health-conscious for more interesting salad vegetables as well as offering colour to those more concerned with the aesthetic quality and presentation of the food; it therefore became a regular feature of restaurant fare and food-market stock by about the middle of the decade. Since Italian spelling conventions are not completely self-explanatory to English speakers, some try to pronounce the word, using an English -ch- sound for the last consonant.

The big public market specializes in...sophisticated imports from rice to radicchio. St Louis Post-Dispatch 28 May 1986, section D, p. 1 Superb spring rolls filled with radicchio, mozzarella and salsa. Vogue Sept. 1990, p. 192 ragazine noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) In US media slang, a cheaply produced news-sheet or magazine devoted to the dissemination of gossip. Etymology: Formed by telescoping rag (a contemptuous word for a cheap or worthless newspaper) and magazine to make a blend. History and Usage: The word was coined in relation to a publication called Hollywood Kids, designed to spread gossip about who was doing what in Hollywood, which first appeared in the mid eighties. The Hollywood Kids is a ten-page 'ragazine' which prints tall tales like the ones outlined above. Empire Sept. 1989, p. 32 You wanna be a gossip columnist? Dish the dirt in your own eponymous, Xeroxed 'ragazine'. Los Angeles Times 9 Mar. 1990, section E, p. 1 rage

noun and verb (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) In young people's slang, especially in Australia: noun: A party, a good time. intransitive verb: To revel, to have a good time. Also as an agent noun rager, a party-goer or reveller.

Etymology: An extended use of rage in its figurative sense 'to be violent or boisterous, to rush', probably passing through an intermediate stage when it meant 'to go on a spree'. History and Usage: This is an Australian usage which became established in the early eighties; it came to prominence outside Australia as well, largely as a result of the popularity of Australian soap operas and other television series in the UK in the second half of the eighties. The Roxy churns out an endless stream of disco, dancing, and drinking, tailor-made for young working people who...are looking for 'a rage'. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 26 June 1986, Supplement, p. 8 'I still go out and rage occasionally,' says the former sidekick to Greg Evans..., 'but I can't do it like I used to, not five nights a week.' TV Week (Melbourne) 28 Mar. 1987, p. 4 rah-rah skirt noun Also written ra-ra skirt (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) A very short flounced skirt, similar in design to the type worn by American cheer-leaders. Etymology: So named because it is the type of skirt worn by a rah-rah girl or cheer-leader, who is herself named after the chorus of rah-rah-rah with which she cheers on her team. History and Usage: The rah-rah skirt came into fashion in 1982 as the first really successful attempt to revive the mini-skirt of the sixties, but its success was largely limited to a restricted clientele of slim teenage girls. The participation of British teams in the World League of American football, complete with their own teams of cheer-leaders, could perpetuate the fashion. For evening, the bomber jacket was worked in black satin and leather, with floaty chiffon ra-ra skirts.

Daily Telegraph 19 Mar. 1991, p. 2 rai

noun (Music) (Youth Culture) A style of popular music, originally from North Africa, which fuses Arabic and Algerian ethnic or folk elements with Western styles. History and Usage: Like zouk, rai was popularized on the world music scene in Paris during the second half of the eighties. Look for Stevie Wonder to introduce America to the latest music rage sweeping northern Africa. Called rai...the sound is described as space-age Arabic folk music. People 24 Feb. 1986, p. 29

rainbow coalition noun (Politics) In political jargon (originally in the US): an alliance of minority peoples and other disadvantaged groups, acting together in an election or political forum so as to gain greater recognition for their cause. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a coalition of people of many colours (summed up by the image of a rainbow). History and Usage: The idea of the rainbow coalition originated in the Southern US in 1982 and was first widely written about in the early eighties, when liberal groups (and in particular the Democratic Party's Jesse Jackson, trying for a presidential nomination) put forward the idea that racial minorities, disadvantaged White groups, and women's interests could be combined to form a potentially powerful political pressure group. By the middle of the decade the imagery, at least, had spread to the UK, where the term was used to refer to possible coalitions of parties of differing political colours (such as the possibility of co-operation between the Liberal-Social Democrat Alliance and Labour).

Jackson's prediction that he would attract a 'rainbow coalition'--of blacks, Hispanics, women, American Indians, peace advocates and others--has not come to pass. New Yorker 28 May 1984, p. 115 The Alliance's best chance of something spectacular is in Liverpool where they hope to gain minority control by forming a 'rainbow' coalition with Labour opponents of council deputy leader Derek Hatton. Today 6 May 1986, p. 16 Rambo noun Also written rambo (Lifestyle and Leisure) (War and Weaponry) A person who resembles the film character Rambo in attitudes or behaviour; specifically, either a macho male type who practises survival techniques and likes to live as a 'loner' or a person who advocates or carries out violent retribution. Etymology: An allusive use of the name of the hero of David Morrell's novel First Blood (1972), a character widely popularized by the films First Blood (1982) and Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985). History and Usage: In the novel and films, the Rambo character is a Vietnam veteran who lives as a loner and is bent on violent retribution for the wrongs that he thinks society has done him. By the middle of the eighties the name Rambo was being used in a number of transferred contexts, often in derivatives such as the adjectives Ramboesque and Rambo-like, to refer to things as diverse as international diplomacy and paintball games, but which all seemed to reflect the world-view of this character. The word was used attributively as well, almost passing into an adjective meaning 'savage': any violent killing, especially when carried out by a person in combat dress, could be described as a Rambo killing, and the newspapers nicknamed Michael Ryan, who carried out the Hungerford massacre of 1987 (see survivalism), the Rambo killer. Given the bomb-'em-kill-'em suggestions pulsing from the

typewriters of 100 literate Rambos, a boycott of the airport was the most reasonable act suggested. Washington Post 6 July 1985, section A, p. 19 To lawyers, as to other Americans, Ronald Reagan apparently has become the stars and stripes for ever. By his own oft-stated, Rambo-like standards, the hostage crisis was a downer. There was none of the threatened 'swift and effective retribution'. Washington Post 9 July 1985, section A, p. 2 Sensitive to charges of encouraging a new generation of Rambos, the companies organising the games insist more excitement than aggression is stimulated. Guardian 3 July 1989, p. 20 One of the first victims, World War 2 veteran Pat Surgrue, was attacked by a 2.5m 'rambo' roo [kangaroo] on his front lawn. Australasian Post 17 Feb. 1990, p. 14 rap

noun and verb (Music) (Youth Culture) noun: A style of popular music (also known more fully as rap music) in which (usually improvised) words are spoken rhythmically, often in rhyming sentences, over an instrumental backing. Also, a song or piece of music which incorporates this technique; an individual 'poem' or refrain in this style. intransitive verb: To perform rap music; to talk or sing in the style of rap. Also as an action noun rapping; agent noun rapper. Etymology: A specialized development of the US slang sense of the noun and verb rap '(to) talk', which itself dates from the turn of the century. This had already been taken up by US Blacks in the sixties as a name for the special style of verbal repartee which developed as an important part of their street culture and peer-group behaviour (see diss); the transformation

of rapping of this kind into a type of performance poetry which could be associated with a particular style of popular music completed the process of specialization. History and Usage: Rap, an important element of the youth subculture known as hip hop, developed among Black youngsters on the streets of New York during the seventies, but did not become a recognizable genre of popular music known by this name until the early eighties. Rap has links with other more formal styles of Black (especially West Indian) performance poetry known as dub and toasting, which began to reach a wide audience in the seventies as a result of the popularization of West Indian culture through reggae and ska. At first the New York raps themselves were improvised live over the rhythmic backing of music from a boom box or ghetto blaster; in the early eighties the style was taken up by disc jockeys in New York's clubs, and a number of rap groups recorded the music and enjoyed great commercial success with it, popularizing rap within White youth culture as well as Black and establishing it as one of the most important styles of the eighties. The influence of rapping is evident in a number of areas outside Black culture, such as the language and creative writing of young Whites in the UK (words such as bad, def, diss, fresh, and rare might never have spread beyond a quite limited population of young people but for their use in rap); another sign of rap's influence is the fact that distinct styles (such as rude rap and on-and-on rap) are recognized among groups of youngsters far removed from rap's New York origins. Many raps still brag about the rapper's financial success and superior cool but others talk about such topics as friends and basketball. Wall Street Journal 4 Dec. 1984, p. 16 But when he realised that black classmates were listening to a different rap group each week he decided that rap was much more progressive than rock 'n' roll. New Musical Express 9 May 1987, p. 30 Cartel distributors, Revolver, have great hopes for the...hip-hop EP...consisting of 'Anyone', 'The Dark'

and 2 raps. Tower Records' Top Feb. 1988, p. 7 D.J.'s Matt Dike,...and Mike Ross, Los Angeles rapping. Interview Mar. 1990, p. 52 rap and scratch (Music) (Youth Culture) see scratch rare

adjective (Youth Culture) In young people's slang: extremely good or impressive; 'hip', 'cool'. Etymology: A revival of a colloquial sense of the adjective rare which first developed in the fifteenth century, but was considered archaic in the early twentieth century. The usage probably found its way into young people's slang through US Black street slang and rap. 'Rare!' is an expression of wonder, gasped rather than spoken. New Statesman 16 Feb. 1990, p. 12

rate-capping (Business World) (Politics) see cap 18.2 reader-friendly...

reader-friendly (Lifestyle and Leisure) see -friendly read my lips phrase (Politics) In US politics, a catch-phrase promoted during the Republican presidential campaign of George Bush to emphasize commitment to lower taxes; also sometimes used as an adjectival phrase to

refer to the tax policy of his administration or to its policies in general. Etymology: The phrase comes from Mr Bush's speech to the Republican Party convention in New Orleans in August 1988: Congress will push me to raise taxes, and I'll say no, and they'll push, and I'll say no, and they'll push again, and I'll say to them 'Read my lips: no new taxes'. During the election campaign that followed this was repeated to reporters and questioners as read my lips followed by the silently mouthed words 'no new taxes'. The phrase itself is, of course, older than this in other contexts; the imagery is that of someone talking to a deaf person, or of a parent emphasizing something to a child and urging visual as well as aural concentration on what is said, the equivalent of 'I really mean this'--or even the television catch-phrase 'I will say this only once'. There is also sometimes a suggestion that what follows read my lips represents a sub-text, a deeper meaning or message that can only be mouthed and not spoken aloud. In these broader uses the phrase read my lips was well known by the time Mr Bush used it at the convention (it had even been the title of a rock-music album). History and Usage: So often did Mr Bush use the technique described above during the election campaign that it became a hallmark of his promised policies, so that the phrase read my lips alone became enough to signify a promise of no new taxes during his presidency. It also became a yardstick by which the American public could measure his administration and assess once and for all the reliability of election promises. It appears the 'read my lips' President is simply giving lip service to his environmental concerns. Philadelphia Inquirer 20 Sept. 1989, section A, p. 16 Sen. Phil Gramm,...aiming to rescue the administration's 'read my lips' strategy, plans an alternative amendment. Washington Post 1 Oct. 1989, section D, p. 7

Truth caught up with Mr Bush last week when he tiptoed into Congress and agreed, no doubt with everyone reading his lips, to raise $25 bn in new taxes. Punch 13 July 1990, p. 20 realo

(Environment) see fundie

recycling noun (Environment) The conversion of waste (such as paper, glass, etc.) into reusable materials. Etymology: Formed from the verb recycle, literally 'to return to an earlier stage in a cyclic process'; when a waste product is recycled it is returned to its raw-material state so as to be formed into a new product. History and Usage: The idea of recycling paper waste in particular is several decades old, but the whole concept of reusing waste rather than dumping it in the environment gained a new impetus and a more positive public profile as a result of the success of the green movement of the eighties. Whereas it was only a few keen environmentalists who took the trouble to save and reuse domestic waste in the seventies, the eighties saw the development of government-sponsored recycling programmes, collection points for recyclable containers (such as the bottle bank and the can bank) appeared in many towns, and in certain areas (including Canada and some States in the US) the division of domestic waste into recyclable and non-recyclable elements was required by law. The availability of recycled products also improved, as did their quality and market image, with advertisers working hard to convince shoppers that they could 'do something for the environment' by choosing recycled paper, containers, etc. Manufacturers keen to present themselves as ecologically aware had to consider the recyclability of the packaging that they used as well as the possibility of using recyclables in the product itself. Manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon, slapping 'biodegradable', 'ozone friendly', 'recyclable', and...any other environmentally correct slogan...on

everything from diapers to deodorant. New Age Journal July-Aug. 1990, p. 10 A pilot Blue Box scheme which covers 3,500 homes in Sheffield--the first recycling city--is proving to be the most successful collection method in the UK. Earth Matters Summer 1990, p. 4 So far, Canada has accepted seven [EcoLogo] sectors: Zinc-Air Batteries, water based paint, fine recycled paper, miscellaneous recycled paper, recycled newsprint, heat recovery ventilators, and cloth nappies. Earth Matters Summer 1990, p. 9 Recycling was encouraged by...the buy-back value for recyclables (paid out at privately owned drop-off centers). Garbage Nov.-Dec. 1990, p. 27 red-eye noun Also written red eye (Lifestyle and Leisure) In colloquial use: an overnight flight, especially one on which the traveller crosses one or more time-zones. Etymology: So named because the passengers can be expected to arrive red-eyed from lack of sleep. History and Usage: The term red-eye (at first in attributive form, as red-eye flight or red-eye special) has been in colloquial use in the US since at least the late sixties. In the late eighties, with transatlantic commuting a reality, it became a fashionable term among British business executives for the overnight flight from New York to London; arriving at breakfast time on such a flight, the traveller has a full business day ahead and a time difference of five or six hours to cope with. Three days ago (is it?) I flew in on a red-eye from New York. I practically had the airplane to myself.

Martin Amis London Fields (1989), p. 1 Participants...were ushered aboard the late night 'red eye' for the non-stop flight to Tokyo. Gramophone Feb. 1990, p. 1547 red route noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Politics) A proposed expressway (marked by a red line along the edge of the road) designed to ease traffic congestion on certain urban roads and similar in operation to a clearway, except that more severe penalties would be incurred by the driver of any vehicle which stopped or otherwise infringed the rules. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a route marked by a red line. History and Usage: The idea of the red route as a way of easing urban traffic congestion in the UK was devised by a group of Conservative politicians called the red route group in the second half of the eighties. Initially intended to solve some of London's traffic problems, their scheme would place tight restrictions on parking, unloading, stopping, and roadworks on the selected routes and would provide for a special force of traffic wardens to impose the steep fines which anyone infringing these restrictions would incur. The proposals did not meet with unqualified enthusiasm from the general public or the government. Red routes, designed to speed the flow of vehicles of all kinds indiscriminately, could only make things worse. Independent 20 Dec. 1989, p. 18 reflagging noun Also written re-flagging (Politics) The practice of registering a ship under a new national flag or flag of convenience, especially so as to enable it to qualify for protection in disputed waters. Etymology: Formed by adding the prefix re- and the suffix -ing

to flag. History and Usage: Although the word reflagging was not new to the language in the eighties (it had been used in specialized sources for some years before that), it was only during the mid and late eighties that the issue was brought into the public eye through widespread reporting of the situation in the Persian Gulf and the word was therefore used frequently in the newpapers. Most of the reports concerned the difficulties experienced by Kuwaiti ships passing through the Straits of Hormuz with cargoes of oil in 1986-7, during the Iran-Iraq war; the question was whether they should be allowed to avail themselves of naval protection from NATO countries or from the Soviet Union after one or other of these countries had offered to reflag them under its own national flag. In practice, this was done mainly by the US, whose warships subsequently escorted the reflagged Kuwaiti tankers safely through the Straits, and the lead was later followed by the UK, but the rights and wrongs of this approach were hotly disputed both in the US and in the UK. Reflagging Kuwait's tankers as 'American' vessels. US News & World Report 8 June 1987, p. 20 Two reflagged Kuwaiti tankers hoisted the Stars and Stripes and signalled to their escort of four American warships that they were ready to sail. Daily Telegraph 22 July 1987, p. 1 We reflagged the tankers because the Kuwaitis were going to ask the Russians to do it. USA Today 21 Oct. 1987, p. 6 reflexology noun (Health and Fitness) A complementary therapy based on the application of pressure to specific points on the feet and hands. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -ology 'subject of

study' to reflex, the term used for the pressure points on the feet and hands which are used in this technique (because each point has a corresponding effect--a secondary manifestation or reflex--on a particular part of the body). History and Usage: Reflexology is also known as zone therapy of the hands and feet; like acupressure, it is an ancient oriental therapy whose techniques date back thousands of years, but which has only this century been taken up and widely practised in the West. It was rediscovered in the twenties by William Fitzgerald, an American ear, nose, and throat specialist, popularized in the US by Eunice Ingham, and brought to the UK in the sixties by a student of hers named Doreen Bayly. However, it was only in the eighties, with the growth and success of alternative and complementary therapies, that reflexology was taken up by significant numbers of people. The underlying principle is very similar to that of acupressure, except that an entire 'map' of pressure points affecting the whole body is found in the feet, and it is mainly these reflexes (together with occasional use of a corresponding set in the hands) that are worked on to produce an improvement of circulation to the corresponding part of the body, a relaxation of tension there, and eventually a return to balance. A practitioner of reflexology is a reflexologist. For the reflexologist, there are 10 channels, beginning (or ending) in the toes and extending to the fingers and the top of the head. Each channel relates to a zone of the body, to the organs in that zone--the big toe relates to the head, for example. By feeling patients' feet in certain prescribed ways, reflexologists can detect which energy channels are blocked. Brian Inglis & Ruth West The Alternative Health Guide (1983), p. 112 Apparently, the Princess of Wales, the Duchess of York and others are advised... on a form of...reflexology, and it keeps those treated healthy, young and beautiful. New Scientist 23 June 1990, p. 112 refusenik noun Also written refusnik (Politics) (People and Society)

Colloquially, any person who has been refused official permission to do something or who has refused to follow instructions, especially as a form of protest. Etymology: A transferred sense of a word which was originally a partial translation of the Russian word otkaznik (itself made up of the stem of the verb otkazat' 'to refuse' and -nik, the agent suffix used in other English words such as beatnik and peacenik). When first borrowed into English, refusenik was used only in the specific sense of Russian otkaznik 'a Soviet Jew who has been refused permission to emigrate to Israel'. History and Usage: The plight of the Soviet refuseniks was first widely reported in the English-language press in the second half of the seventies and by the early eighties the word would have been familiar to the readers of most quality newspapers. By the mid eighties journalists had started to apply it in other contexts (in much the same way as other Russian borrowings such as glasnost and perestroika would later be applied in new and often trivial home contexts); perhaps under the influence of the punning style of newspaper headlines, or possibly just as a result of misunderstanding or forgetting the original import of the word (since many of the original refuseniks had been dissidents), they then began to use refusenik for the person who does the refusing rather than the one who is its victim, so that it became a milder synonym for dissident or protester. The 30 'refuseniks' who would not go to Wapping have been joined by 50 people. City Limits 10 Apr. 1986, p. 7 'Refuseniks' of Voyager lobby Hawke. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 1987, p. 19 See also returnik remastered (Music) (Science and Technology) see digital

Restart noun Also written restart (Business World) A return to paid employment after a period of absence or unemployment; in the UK, the name of a government programme to facilitate retraining and re-employment. Etymology: A specialized use of the existing noun restart. History and Usage: The government's Restart scheme began in September 1988, a time when, despite high unemployment, employers complained that they were unable to find suitable staff to fill their vacancies. This situation was particularly acute in inner cities (especially inner London), so the schemes started there and a few months later spread nationwide. The scheme (parts of which, at least, are compulsory after six months' unemployment) includes opportunities for training in interview technique, self-presentation, etc. to help the candidates to 'fit' the employers' requirements. If you're still unemployed after six months, you're obliged to attend a Restart interview. This gives you the first opportunity to retrain on a state scheme or join a Jobclub. Which? Aug. 1988, p. 378 restructuring (Politics) see perestroika retro

noun and adjective (Lifestyle and Leisure) noun: A style or fashion that harks back to the past, a throw-back; a movement to revive past styles. adjective: Reviving or harking back to the past; nostalgically retrospective. Etymology: Although the prefix retro- has a long history in English, forming words with the meaning 'backwards-' on Latin roots (such as retrograde), it was actually through the French word r‚trograde that this word reached English. The French began to abbreviate r‚trograde to r‚tro specifically in relation to fashion in late 1973, when the styles of the thirties were

revived by Paris designers. The abbreviation stuck in French, and it was only the abbreviated form that was borrowed into English. History and Usage: The earliest uses in English closely follow the developments of 1973-4 in France, and use the word both as a noun and as an adjective, as was already the case in French. As nostalgia in a number of cultural areas became increasingly fashionable in the eighties, both the adjective and the noun were used to form compounds such as retro-culture, retrodressing, retromania, retrophobia, and retro-rock. The icy charms of the Group TSE's productions, beginning as far back as 1969, have been in the vanguard of the French vogue for 'retro'. Guardian Weekly 18 May 1974, p. 14 Kevin was delighted...Any guy who wore a retro tux would have to be. Erica Jong Parachutes & Kisses (1984), p. 157 Rebecca is a 19-year-old Retrogirl...[She] dresses in semi-hippie garb and offsets this with a studded belt and pointed black boots. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 27 Sept. 1988, p. 17 retrovirus noun Also written retravirus (Health and Fitness) Any of a group of RNA viruses (including HIV) which form DNA during the replication of their RNA. Etymology: Formed by adding the initial two letters of REverse and TRanscriptase and the combining-form suffix -o to virus; one of the distinguishing characteristics of a retrovirus is the presence of reverse transcriptase, the enzyme which acts as a catalyst for the formation of DNA from an RNA template. History and Usage: The family of retroviruses was first given the Latin name Retroviridae in the mid seventies; during the

late seventies there was increasing scientific interest in them, which was boosted in the early eighties by the race to find the viral cause of (and ultimately a cure for) Aids. It was this connection with Aids that ensured that the word retrovirus became popularized rather than remaining limited to technical literature; however, although the word appeared in popular sources in the eighties it was probably not as widely understood as this popular usage would suggest. The corresponding adjective is retroviral. It turns out this virus is a retrovirus, and it's a close, kissing cousin of the AIDS virus. USA Today 29 Oct. 1990, section A, p. 13 returnik noun (Politics) (People and Society) An ‚migr‚ from an East European country who has returned home, especially after a change of political regime there. Etymology: Formed from the verb return and the suffix -nik, on the model of refusenik. History and Usage: This inventive formation gave a new lease of life to the -nik suffix in English during the second half of the eighties, when the media began to take an interest in the growing number of ‚migr‚s from the Soviet Union and other East European countries who wished to return once a more democratic government was in power. The phenomenon of returniks had existed before, however: of the people who successfully emigrated from the Soviet Union, for example, there were always a few who found that their ties to the motherland were so strong that they could not be happy anywhere else and who tried to find some way to return home even without a change of political regime there. The Gross family are Returniks--Russians who emigrated to the West and have now decided to return. They...swapped one of the most prestigious New York addresses, Waterside Plaza in Manhattan, for two dingy rooms which the Grosses, who have three children, share with her [Olga's] mother. Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 17 May 1987, p. 21

Known as the returniks, these natives of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary...are helping manufacture consumer goods and build housing. Time 2 July 1990, p. 48 18.3 rhythmic gymnastics

rhythmic gymnastics noun (Health and Fitness) (Lifestyle and Leisure) A form of gymnastics which emphasizes rhythmic movement and incorporates dance-like routines, performed with ribbons, hoops, or other accessories, used as extensions of the gymnast's body. Etymology: Formed by compounding: gymnastics based on rhythmic movement. History and Usage: Although the phrase rhythmic gymnastics was used as long ago as 1912 to refer to a form of gymnastics based on rhythmic movement, it was not adopted as the official name of a recognized style of gymnastics until the seventies, and this style only became a sport which was popularized through international competition in the eighties. Bianca Panova..., the Bulgarian champion, practising...for the Rhythmic Gymnastics International at Wembley Conference Centre tomorrow. Daily Telegraph 4 Nov. 1989, p. 36 18.4 right-to-life...

right-to-life adjectival phrase (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) Especially in US English, concerned to protect the rights of the unborn child and therefore opposed to allowing a woman to choose whether or not to have an abortion; pro-life. (A positive alternative to anti-choice.) Also, seeking to protect the rights

of the terminally ill, people on life-support machines, etc. Etymology: Formed from the noun phrase the right to life; the focus of the movement is the right of the unborn child to quality of life and the moral responsibility of those who already have life to safeguard the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves. The model for this formation already existed in right-to-die (a similar movement against artificially prolonging the life of those who, because of illness or accident, are unable to have any quality of life). History and Usage: For the history of the anti-abortion debate in the US, see pro-. Right-to-life fits into this picture as one of three terms for the anti-abortion lobby, and has been commonly used in the US since the mid seventies. A supporter of this position is a right-to-lifer. Similar moral issues apply to the debate over the artificial 'life' of those who exist for years on life-support machines, and the movement has also concerned itself with this issue. The right-to-lifers had to pretty much settle for a mad bomber repping their cause. Movie Winter 1989, p. 8 RISC

acronym Also written Risc or risc (Science and Technology) Short for reduced instruction set computer, a type of computer designed to perform a limited set of operations, and therefore having relatively simple circuitry and able to work at high speed. Also (short for reduced instruction set computing), computing using this kind of computer; the simplified environment in which it operates. Etymology: The initial letters of Reduced Instruction Set Computer (or Computing). History and Usage: Research into the viability of a RISC and its advantages over the traditional approach (complex instruction set computing or CISC) began in the early eighties, and by 1983 had produced the first commercial products based on this principle. It soon became clear that the greatest advantage was speed, with RISC working at twice the speed of CISC. The

acronym RISC is nearly always used attributively (in RISC architecture, RISC chip, RISC processor, RISC system, etc.); systems, machines, etc. are often described as RISC-based, while the software products with which RISC is used are known as RISCware. By incompatible microprocessors, I mean the Risc chips: Sparc, Mips, 88000 and 80860 for starters. PC Magazine July 1989, p. 130 For the same dollar, CISC will deliver only half the performance of RISC. New York Times 28 Sept. 1989, section D, p. 2 To set standards for RISC-based workstations, MIPS is challenging Sun Microsystems Inc. New York Times 10 Dec. 1989, section 3, p. 10 The RISCware Product Directory lists 245 software products. UnixWorld Apr. 1990, p. 91 ritual abuse (People and Society) see child abuse 18.5 rock...


noun (Drugs) In the slang of drug users, a crystallized form of cocaine which is smoked for its stimulating effects; an earlier name (especially on the West coast of the US) for crack. Also, a piece of crack in its prepared form, ready for smoking. Etymology: Named after its rock-like appearance and consistency. History and Usage: Despite suggestions that rock has been in

use among drug users for some time as a name for a piece of crystallized cocaine, the word did not begin to appear in the newspapers or become known to the general public until the middle of the eighties. Then a number of West-coast newspapers reported raids on rock houses (the same as crack houses: see crack). By 1986, crack had become established as the name for the drug itself, and rock seemed to be dying out in this sense, but it remained current as the name for a piece of the drug ready for smoking. Four people were arrested and a small cache of weapons and ammunition seized at an Inglewood 'rock house', where cocaine in hardened form was being sold, Los Angeles police announced. Los Angeles Times 11 Jan. 1985, section 1, p. 2 The 'rock' is...put in a pipe and smoked, with far more potent effects than inhaling the powder. Daily Telegraph 1 Mar. 1985, p. 15 It's amazing now. You walk around Notting Hill or Stonebridge and you can hardly score ganja any more. All you see is rock and smack...There are certain geezers who go up to someone who's never touched it, give him a rock, and build him up 'til he gets a habit. Sunday Correspondent 8 Apr. 1990, p. 4 rocket fuel (Drugs) see angel dust rockumentary noun Also written rock-umentary (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Music) In informal use, a documentary film dealing with the history of rock music or the lives of rock musicians. Etymology: Formed by replacing the first syllable of documentary with rock, making use of the rhyme to form a punning blend.

History and Usage: The word was coined by Ernie Santosuosso, a Boston critic, in a review of Beatlemania in 1977, at a time when the craze for films and television programmes about rock stars of the sixties was a favourite means of bringing rock music to a wider audience. It has remained principally an American word, but by the mid eighties had also been used in British and Australian film criticism. By 1984, rockumentaries were so numerous that a completely fictional one (This is Spinal Tap, about a British heavy metal group) was made as a parody of the genre. Spinal Tap lives: the famed 'henge' sequence from the classic 'rockumentary' was recently re-enacted. Music Making July 1987, p. 6 SBS at 7.30 has what it is billing a 'rock-umentary'--an account of Australian singer Jeannie Lewis' last trip to Mexico. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 15 Nov. 1988, p. 28 role-playing game noun phrase (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) A game in which players take on the roles of imaginary characters who take part in adventures in a (usually fantastical) setting. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a game which involves the playing of a role. History and Usage: The concept of the role-playing game (often abbreviated to RPG) brings together two much older ideas. The planning of real military campaigns with the aid of boards and counters led earlier this century to an interest in re-enacting famous historical battles, and even completely fictitious ones, in a similar manner--an activity known as war-gaming, which became particularly popular in the years following the Second World War. The second idea grew out of psychotherapy, which also enjoyed something of a vogue in the sixties: the technique of role-playing, devised by the Viennese psychiatrist J. L. Moreno in the forties, whereby people were encouraged to act out

dramatic roles. The technique spread to other fields, and the phrase became generally familiar, so that in the later seventies, when several games appeared which allowed players to immerse themselves more fully in the imaginary setting than had been possible in conventional war-gaming, the name role-playing game came readily to mind. Perhaps the best known of these is Dungeons and Dragons, which like many such games has a fantasy setting. What makes such games distinctive, however, is not the setting--other games draw on science fiction, ancient Rome, and even gangster novels for their inspiration--but the extent to which the adventure is made as 'realistic' as possible: the setting is painstakingly created in great detail, often by a referee or Dungeon Master, and the behaviour of the players' assumed characters is controlled by a welter of rules designed to make the experience believable. Players do not necessarily 'win'--the enjoyment derives from vicariously 'living' another, more exciting life. During the early eighties gaming of this sort was consequently condemned as escapism, but it has flourished despite such criticism; indeed, the appearance of the home computer, and of software allowing still more realistic role-play, has vastly increased its popularity. With role-playing games, the position is different. The rules explain how to generate characters. White Dwarf Oct.-Nov. 1981, p. 8 CoC [Call of Cthulhu] is a classic RPG...casting its shadow over the whole gaming industry. GM Nov. 1989, p. 18 roof tax noun (Business World) (Politics) In the UK, a derogatory nickname for any property-based replacement for the community charge or poll tax. Etymology: Formed by compounding; whereas the poll tax is a tax on heads (see poll tax), the roof tax taxes people on the roof over their heads. History and Usage: The nickname roof tax first arose as a Conservative retort to Labour politicians' attacks on the

community charge and their insistence on calling it a poll tax; any Labour government, they said, would remove the community charge only to replace it with an even more unfair roof tax, based on the same principles as the old rating system. When the Conservative government announced its review of the community charge in April 1991 and it became clear that the proposed new council tax was likely to be based--at least in part--on property ownership, Labour politicians were able to turn the taunt back on the taunters, calling the council tax a roof tax (as well as a great many other names). The worst outcome would be Labour's roof tax which, by combining a property tax with one on incomes, really could be used to squeeze the rich. The Times 8 Mar. 1990, p. 14 roots

plural noun (Music) Ethnic origins seen as a basis for cultural consciousness and pride, especially among Blacks; often used attributively as though it were an adjective: expressing this cultural identity, ethnically authentic. Etymology: The word root has been used in the plural to mean 'one's social, cultural, or ethnic origins or background' since the twenties; the shift in meaning that has led to the word's association with (specifically Black) cultural heritage probably arose from the popularity of Black American author Alex Haley's family chronicle Roots (1976), based on research into his own family history and African origins, which won a special Pulitzer prize in 1977. History and Usage: This more specific sense of roots developed during the late seventies, perhaps as a direct result of the success of the Haley book. At about the same time it started to be used attributively, especially in roots reggae (a style of music originating in Jamaica which was designed to express Jamaican cultural identity) or roots music (sometimes meaning the same as roots reggae, but often applied more generally to any music which expresses the cultural identity of a particular ethnic group--ethnic music--or has the authentic sound associated with Black cultural origins).

For the DJ, crossing over is more than simply a move from roots to respectability or even from black to white audiences. City Limits 16 Oct. 1986, p. 41 Biddy's will continue its prior booking policy--an eclectic blend of oldies acts, roots music, world beat and other styles. Chicago Tribune 25 Aug. 1989, section 7, p. 8 rootsy

adjective (Music) (Youth Culture) (Of music) down-to-earth; in a rudimentary, uncommercialized style which allows traditional or ethnic roots to show through. Etymology: Formed by adding the adjectival suffix -y to roots. History and Usage: Rootsy shares its early history with roots above, but developed a rather broader meaning during the eighties, moving outside the narrow context of Black or West Indian cultural awareness. Any music (or sometimes another area of culture) can be described as rootsy if it has an authentic feel, without the rough edges having been smoothed off by commercialism. I'm not here to put any new innovations on you...I'm still using things that are already there: the basic American rootsy sound with country and blues and so forth. Los Angeles Times 21 May 1986, section 6, p. 2 He went from the depth-charged super-funk of 'Head', straight into the buoyant and rootsy pop of 'When You Were Mine'. The Times 26 July 1988, p. 14

Royal Free disease (Health and Fitness) see ME

18.6 RPG


(Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture) see role-playing game

18.7 Rubik...


noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) Part of the name of a number of mathematical puzzles devised by Hungarian teacher E. Rubik; originally Rubik's cube, the trade mark of a puzzle consisting of a cube built round a double fulcrum from 26 smaller cubes of which each visible face shows one of six colours, each layer of nine cubes being capable of rotation in its own plane, the task being to restore each face of the larger cube to a single colour after the uniformity has been destroyed by rotating any of the layers. Etymology: The surname of the inventor. History and Usage: Rubik's cube was first marketed under this name in 1980 (it had originally been called the Magic Cube), and immediately enjoyed great commercial success, sparking off a craze of similar proportions to the ones later caused by Transformers and Turtles. Rubik's puzzles (the cube was later followed by Rubik's triangle and other puzzles on the same principle) attracted adults as well as children. Buv”s Kocka--the Magic Cube, also known as Rubik's Cube--has simultaneously taken the puzzle world, the mathematics world and the computing world by storm. Scientific American Mar. 1981, p. 14 The life of the modern toy designer is an unending search for the next...Rubik's Cube, the next teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Smithsonian Dec. 1989, p. 73

Rule 43 noun (People and Society)

A prison regulation in the UK whereby an inmate considered to be at risk from the rest of the prison community (for example, because of the nature of the offence that he or she has committed) may be placed in solitary confinement for his or her own protection. Also, a prisoner isolated under this rule (sometimes abbreviated to 43). Etymology: The paragraph number of the rule in the Prison Rules. History and Usage: The rule has been in force since at least the early seventies; what brought the question of segregation under Rule 43 to public attention was discussion in the media of the prison riots at Strangeways Prison in Manchester in April 1990, when it became clear that rioting prisoners had quickly broken into the segregated areas where Rule 43 prisoners were kept in order to attack them. Do not suppose that 43s are necessarily the most evil. They may be, they may not be. What is unique to them is their fear. Daily Telegraph 3 Apr. 1990, p. 16 Most violence was aimed at the vulnerable Rule 43 prisoners... [Sexual offenders] make up to 70 per cent of the Rule 43 prisoners. Independent 3 Apr. 1990, p. 2 Rust Belt noun (Business World) Colloquially in the US, the declining industrial heartland of the Midwest and North-East United States, especially the former steel-producing areas such as Pittsburgh. Etymology: Humorously formed by compounding: a belt or zone where once-profitable industry (in particular the metals industry) is left to rust away. History and Usage: The coinage of the term is often attributed to US Democratic politician Walter Mondale, who opposed Ronald

Reagan in the presidential election of 1984. Attacking Mr Reagan's economic policies, Mr Mondale said His...policies are turning our great industrial Midwest and the industrial base of a rust bowl. This was picked up in the media and repeated as Rust Belt. Although Mr Mondale's presidential campaign was unsuccessful, the plight of the American Rust Belt remained a political issue in the US. The term is often used attributively. We might look upon the glory of our Rust Belt states, where there are hundreds of vast steel mills that are at least 40 years out of date and also spew smoke that causes acid rain. New York Times Book Review 29 Oct. 1989, p. 48 19.0 S

19.1 sab...


noun and verb (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society) Colloquially in the UK, noun: An opponent of blood sports who disrupts a fox- hunt as a form of protest, a hunt saboteur; also known more fully as a hunt sab. Also, any animal rights campaigner who engages in sabotage. transitive or intransitive verb: To disrupt (a hunt) as a hunt saboteur; to go on a sabbing expedition. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating saboteur to its first three letters. History and Usage: The word arose among hunt saboteurs as a name for themselves and started to appear in print towards the

end of the seventies. As the movement against blood sports grew during the eighties, so the terms sab and hunt sab became increasingly common in the newspapers. It was also sometimes used more generally for animal rights campaigners whose action involved sabotaging scientific experiments etc. The battle between the hunters and the 'sabs' is now an integral part of the hunting scene. He is a veteran of countless sabbing missions. Sunday Times 6 Mar. 1983, p. 11 The sabs made a point of photographing their quarry in the lab before rescuing them, and on publication, these heart-rending photographs of dogs, being experimented on...raised a public outcry. Illustrated Weekly of India 13 July 1986, p. 44 For two seasons I went and 'sabbed' my local hunt. Peace News 19 Sept. 1986, p. 9 safe

adjective (Youth Culture) In young people's slang: good, sound, having street cred (see cred°). Etymology: A sense shift which possibly arises from the sensitivity of young people involved in street culture to peer pressure, and in particular to ridicule from peers: a person or thing that is safe is one that meets with approval. History and Usage: Safe became a popular adjective of general approbation towards the end of the eighties, especially in the phrase well safe. As a piece of slang used among a small group of people it was naturally limited largely to spoken use, and rarely appeared in printed sources. British Knights, Nike Jordans and Nike SEs are 'well safe', but copies like Nicks are the object of pure derision.

New Statesman 16 Feb. 1990, p. 12 safe sex noun Also in the form safer sex (Health and Fitness) (People and Society) Sexual activity in which precautions are taken to ensure that the risk of spreading sexually transmitted diseases (especially Aids) is minimized. Etymology: Formed by compounding: sex which is safe as regards the risk of contracting or spreading Aids. This combination of words was probably already in use in relation to contraception: sex which was safe from the point of view of unwanted pregnancy. However, it was only in relation to Aids that it became a fixed phrase with a specific meaning. History and Usage: The concept of safe sex (or safer sex, as some preferred to call it) arose in the mid eighties, as first American society, and later other societies as well, started to face up to the threat of Aids and think of ways in which it might be controlled. Awareness of the need for safe sex and general publicity about it were commonest at first among the gay community, but by the second half of the decade the message was being put across deliberately to all sections of society through health advertising. The main elements of safe sex as highlighted in government advertising campaigns were avoidance of promiscuity (by having a single partner) and the use of a condom as a barrier to the exchange of 'body fluids' during intercourse. While the city's major bathhouses and clubs...are still in business,...a few of the owners have been helpful in educating clients about safer sex. New York 17 June 1985, p. 52 The gay now practicing safe sex so conscientiously that the rate of newly infected homosexual men in cities like San Francisco and New York has fallen dramatically. Life Fall 1989, p. 135

Part-parody, part safe-sex education, her presentation uses a combination of home movies, slides, vignettes. Mediamatic Summer 1990 (Edge 90: Special Issue), p. 230 sailboard, sailboarder, sailboarding (Lifestyle and Leisure) see boardsailing salmonella-free (Health and Fitness) see -free sampling noun (Music) (Science and Technology) In electronic music, the technique or process of taking a piece of digitally encoded sound and re-using it, often in a modified form, as part of a composition or recording. Etymology: A specialized use of sampling, which would normally be used in the context of quality control or the taking of statistical samples. History and Usage: Sampling became an important technique in musical composition (especially in popular music) in the mid eighties, as a direct result of the advances in electronics and musical technology which followed from the development of the synthesizer. The music which developed from these techniques (including acid house, house, and techno) has a patchwork quality, since it is formed from many different sequences of modified sound. Associated terms include sample (a noun and verb), the adjective sampled (used of a sound or a whole sequence of music), and the noun sampler (the electronic instrument--actually a musical computer--which is used to sample sounds). With new-romanticism, techno-pop, the revival of disco and growth of synthesized sound, from sampling to scratch, the potential for live performance waned. Guardian 11 Aug. 1989, p. 24 Advanced Midi Amiga Sampler, High Quality Sound Sampler & Midi interface including all necessary Software...The sound is stunning, too. All effects are sampled, and

very atmospheric. CU Amiga Apr. 1990, pp. 27 and 43 SAT

(People and Society) see national curriculum

satanic abuse (People and Society) see child abuse satellite noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Science and Technology) Short for satellite broadcasting or satellite television, the transmission of television programmes via an artificial satellite; a special television service using this technique and receivable by subscribers who have paid a fee and own the appropriate satellite dish or other antenna. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating satellite television; the satellite is the link in space between the broadcaster and the subscriber, with signals being beamed up to it and the antennas or dishes so positioned that they can receive the re-transmitted signal. History and Usage: Satellite television (at first known officially by the more cumbersome name direct broadcasting by satellite) was first tried experimentally in the late sixties, and the use of satellites for broadcasting became commonplace during the following decade. When, in the eighties, communications satellites were launched with the express purpose of providing a television service to compete with network television, the term satellite television and its abbreviated forms satellite TV and satellite came to be applied specifically to these competing services, while direct broadcasting by satellite (or simply direct broadcast) had to be used for the technique when employed by network stations. Satellite was introduced in the UK in the late eighties by two competing stations, Sky TV and BSB, later merged as BSkyB. The unsightliness of the parabolic dishes used to receive satellite programming led to their being banned by some local authorities and there were moves to use cable (see cable television) to 'pipe' the programmes from a central reception point to individual homes in these areas.

There are also several monthly magazines with a mix of technical information and features about the films and other programmes on satellite and cable. Which? Sept. 1989, p. 444 While the dollarless majority [in Poland] live in half-finished apartment blocks [and] walk to queue in zloty shops...the wydeos live in ugly villas, drive to shop at Pewex and display satellite dishes in their garden. Correspondent Magazine 29 Oct. 1989, p. 37 19.2 SBS


(Health and Fitness) see sick building

19.3 scratch...

scratch noun and verb (Music) (Youth Culture) noun: A technique, often used in rap music, in which a record is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during play and manually moved backwards and forwards to produce a rhythmic scratching effect; also, the style of music characterized by this (known more fully as scratch and rap or scratch music). Also used in other compounds, including: scratch-mix, a style of popular music in which several records are intercut with each other as they are played, using the scratch technique to create a 'collage' of sound; also used as a verb or as an action noun scratch-mixing; scratch video, a technique or game of video-making, in which a number of short, sharp images are cut and mixed into a single film and fitted to a synchronized sound track (usually of rap music); a video made by this method. transitive or intransitive verb: To manipulate (a record) using the scratch technique; to play scratch music or act as a scratch

disc jockey. Etymology: A reference to the scratching effect of the original technique. History and Usage: Scratch music originated in rap and hip hop culture in the early eighties; a Scratch 'n' Rap revue was put on in New York in 1982, and the technique was also popularized by disc jockeys who used it in a number of New York clubs. The same principle was applied to video by 1985, giving scratch video, itself sometimes abbreviated to scratch alone. On Tuesday, Mr. Hancock and a band that included the 'scratch' disk jockey Grand Mixer D. Street appeared at the Ritz. New York Times 25 Dec. 1983, section 1, p. 47 Brad Shapiro...produces her outrageous records and stage show, backed by a fine funk outfit, flavored with horns and the latest scratch and synth sounds. Washington Post 27 Apr. 1984, Weekend section, p. 37 The Rockit Band includes Grandmixer D. ST., whose instrument is a turntable and who makes sounds by 'scratching' records back and forth. New York Times 17 June 1984, section 2, p. 28 Scratch is a playful reaction to the endless offerings and noise of 'the media'. It interrupts the normal passive flow of TV, bends it a bit. Honey June 1985, p. 18 A simple scratch can be built up by recording the chosen music/sound onto the audio channel of the video recorder then switch between channels as the vision is being recorded. Photographer May 1986, p. 26

Pete Shelley's move from The Buzzcocks to a 12" gay classic 'Homo-Sapiens' and John Lydon's rearranged public image, appearing with scratch-mix pioneer Africa Bambaattaa, the self-proclaimed Zulu warrior of the hip hop scene, compounded the drift. New Musical Express 14 Feb. 1987, p. 27 The 12" dance record is an inevitable liaison with the hi-technology of synthesisers and the rough treatment of rap and scratch. New Musical Express 14 Feb. 1987, p. 27 scrunch

transitive verb (Lifestyle and Leisure)

To style (hair) by squeezing or crushing with the hands to give a tousled look. Often in the verbal phrase scrunch-dry, to blow-dry (hair) while squeezing or crushing it in this way, in order to set it with a crinkled or tousled effect. Etymology: Probably a blend of squeeze, crumple, crush, and crunch, originally intended to sum up the action and sound of screwing up a piece of paper in the palm of the hand. History and Usage: Scrunch first started appearing in hairdressing magazines in about 1983; the technique of scrunch-drying followed from about 1985. Both terms spread outside the professional hairdressing press to general-interest magazines during the second half of the eighties. Rod just used mousse and a scrunch-drying technique to give it more body and to make it...more modern. Good Housekeeping May 1986, p. 43 To style, he used mousse and his hands to scrunch her hair into a beautiful halo of curls. Hairdo Ideas July 1987, p. 58 Scud

noun Sometimes written SCUD (War and Weaponry)

The NATO code-name (more fully Scud missile) for any of a class of long-range surface-to-surface guided missiles developed in the Soviet Union, capable of carrying a number of different kinds of warhead, and launchable from a mobile launcher. Etymology: Although sometimes written in capitals, Scud is not an acronym; the word scud was chosen as part of a series of NATO code-names for Soviet surface-to-surface missiles, all of which conventionally begin with s: other examples include Savage, Sandal, Scapegoat, and Scrooge. Similar series of names (beginning with g, k, and a respectively) have been chosen for surface-to-air, air-to-surface, and air-to-air missiles. History and Usage: The Scud missile system (first the Scud A, and later the Scud B) was designed and made in the Soviet Union in the late fifties and early sixties and was soon exported to the Warsaw Pact and other countries friendly to the Soviet Union. Scuds were used in the conflict in Afghanistan in the second half of the eighties, and were sometimes mentioned in news reports; what really brought the Scud into the news in English-speaking countries, though, was its deployment by Iraq during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Scuds were launched against allied forces in Saudi Arabia and, more controversially, against Israel (a state not otherwise involved in the conflict). Since the Scud is capable of carrying conventional, chemical, or biological warheads, Scud attacks were seen as a significant threat to the civilian population in Israel and Saudi Arabia; in the event only conventional warheads were used, but there were significant numbers of civilian casualties, especially in Israel. The fact that the missiles were launched from mobile launchers made it difficult for allied air power to locate and destroy the sources of the attacks; their effectiveness was minimized, however, by the success of Patriot missiles in intercepting and destroying many of them before they reached their targets. By February 1991 there was already a little evidence to suggest that Scud would develop a figurative sense, 'a devastating or unpredictable attack', much as Exocet had done after the Falklands War. Now, bad weather in the region and the failure to knock out the Scuds had prolonged the aerial campaign. Newsweek 28 Jan. 1991, p. 17

The Sacks/Williams of the film is what Pauline Kael of the New Yorker, in one of her critical Scud missile moods, describes as 'another Robin Williams benevolent eunuch role'. Independent on Sunday 17 Feb. 1991, p. 21 scuzz

noun Also written scuz (Youth Culture) In young people's slang (originally in the US): a disgusting person or thing; something or someone considered scuzzy. Etymology: Probably an abbreviated form of disgusting (representing the actual sounds pronounced in the second syllable when the word is drawn out to emphasize the speaker's revulsion); it has been suggested that it might however be a blend of scum and fuzz. History and Usage: Scuzz has been in spoken use among US teenagers since the sixties; it seems it first appeared in print in 1968, while the corresponding adjective scuzzy was recorded a year later. During the eighties scuzz became the basis for a number of compounds, proving that it had become established in the language: the most important of these were scuzzbag, scuzzball, and scuzzbucket, all nouns meaning 'a contemptible or despicable person' and also used as general terms of abuse. All of these variations on the same theme appeared during the mid eighties and started to become known outside the US in the late eighties. The quality of being scuzzy is scuzziness. He calls a minister a 'scuzzbag'. Time 11 July 1983, p. 72 In the larger picture, we're just a little green scuzz on the surface. Margaret Atwood Cat's Eye (1988; 1989 ed.), p. 230 Her cheating husband, Ernie, a crotch-grabber who brings new meaning to the word 'scuzzbucket'.

Newsday 17 Sept. 1989, TV Plus section, p. 85 scuzzy

(Youth Culture) see scuzz and grody

19.4 SDI


(War and Weaponry) see Star Wars

19.5 SEAQ...


(Business World) see big bang

Securitate noun (Politics) The internal security force (until December 1989) of the Socialist Republic of Romania. Etymology: A direct borrowing from Romanian securitate 'security'; this in turn is a colloquial abbreviation in Romanian of the official name, Departamentul pentru Securitatea Statului 'Department for State Security' (the Securitate was a Department of the Ministry of the Interior). History and Usage: Securitate was the colloquial name in Romanian of the feared Communist secret police under the Ceausescu regime (and before--the Departamentul pentru Securitatea Statului was set up in 1948). The word was only rarely used in English during the sixties and seventies; what really brought it into the news and gave it some currency in English was the overthrow of that regime in December 1989. News reports from Romania in late 1989 covered popular demonstrations against the Securitate and attempts to ransack its offices and destroy its files. The Securitate was officially disbanded in December 1989 and a National Salvation Front decree ratified this on 1 January 1990; in March 1990 a new security service was set up under the direct control of the President, and this was named Serviciul Romƒn de Informatii 'Romanian Information Service'. This organization took over the duties of the Intelligence section of the old Securitate, but subject to formal guarantees that there would be no abuses of power such as

those seen under the Securitate itself. The beliefs that they are constantly watched by the regime's political police, the Securitate, more than suffices to convince Rumanians to keep their thoughts to themselves. New York Times 24 Nov. 1989, section A, p. 17 The Ceausescus' execution weakened the resistance of the hated secret police, the Securitate, who had been mounting indiscriminate attacks on army units and civilians in an unsuccessful attempt to crush the revolution. The Annual Register 1989 (1990), p. 127 sellathon noun Also written sell-a-thon (Business World) In marketing jargon (especially in the US): a concentrated attempt to sell, as in an extended cut-price sale, a television programme entirely devoted to the advertisement of a sponsor's products, or a marketing convention. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -athon (as in marathon) to the verb sell. History and Usage: This is an American coinage of the second half of the seventies which has been applied in a wide variety of contexts, although almost exclusively within the US. Essentially, it seems, any marketing 'marathon' can be a sellathon. Anyone else embarking on such a sellathon, should run a few VTR screen tests before making their final choice of presenter. Broadcast 29 May 1978, p. 20 [The] marketing program for 1989 was outlined to Nugget Distributors members at the group's January Sellathon in Honolulu.

Institutional Distribution Mar. 1989, p. 48 sell-by date noun phrase (Lifestyle and Leisure) A date marked on food packaging (usually preceded by the words 'sell by') to indicate the latest recommended date of sale, especially for perishable goods. (The British equivalent of the US pull-by date.) Etymology: Formed by compounding: the date by which the retailer should sell or discard the goods. History and Usage: For history, see best before date and use-by date. Like best before date, sell-by date has occasionally been used in a transferred context or figurative sense. Socialism: the package that's passed its sell-by date. headline in Daily Telegraph 13 Mar. 1987, p. 16 New legislation is to be introduced to replace sell-by dates with more helpful use-by dates...More than eight out of ten people in our survey said they never buy food after its sell-by date has passed; only two per cent said they frequently do. Which? Apr. 1990, p. 205 sell-through noun Also written sell through or sellthrough (Business World) (Lifestyle and Leisure) In marketing jargon, retail sale; especially, retail sale of pre-recorded videos (as opposed to rental through video clubs etc.). Also, the market in sell-through video or (as a countable noun) a video marketed for retail sale. Etymology: Formed by turning the verbal phrase sell through into a compound noun: the principle of selling right through to the end user, rather than to a rental outlet. History and Usage: Sell-through was already in use in

marketing in the more abstract sense of the level of retail sale (turnover) in the late seventies. The more specific sense in the video market developed as a direct result of the video boom of the first half of the eighties, followed by a slackening of interest in the second half: video manufacturers were forced to put greater effort into marketing their product through retail outlets once interest in video rental started to fall off. From about 1985 onwards, sell-through was frequently used attributively in relation to video, in sell-through market, sell-through video, etc. By about 1987 sell-through video was being further abbreviated to sell-through alone, resulting eventually in the use of sell-through as a countable noun. Gregory is convinced that many less obvious outlets could be stocking sell through video profitably. 'Hi-fi shops which sell hardware should have a lot of potential for stocking sell through', he says. Music Week 20 June 1987, p. 36 Slackening sales of pre-recorded video cassettes for rental purposes have forced many small video publishing companies to sharpen their focus on 'sell-throughs'. Sun (Brisbane) 11 May 1988, p. 39 Some of the best are currently available on sell-through video...Doubtless others will appear on sell-through before long. Empire Sept. 1989, p. 93 Semtex

noun (War and Weaponry)

A very malleable, odourless plastic explosive. Etymology: The name given to the product by its manufacturer; probably formed from the first part of Semt¡n (the name of the village in East Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, near the Semtex factory) and -ex (perhaps standing for the initial syllable of explosive or export). History and Usage: Semtex was originally a secret Czech

military invention and was probably first made during the seventies, although not under this name. Its manufacture was taken over by the East Bohemia Chemical Works in Pardubice-Semt¡n; it has been known as Semtex to intelligence sources outside Czechoslovakia since about 1982. Semtex had a number of non-aggressive uses, for example in the construction industry; however, its lack of odour and its malleability made it a favoured explosive for terrorist bombs as well, since it could be concealed easily and was difficult for sniffer dogs to detect. It was this use by terrorists which brought the word Semtex into the news in English-speaking countries from about the middle of the eighties. Police officials told Agence France-Presse that the explosive might have been Semtex, which they called the 'signature' explosive of Middle Eastern terrorist groups. New York Times 9 Dec. 1985, section A, p. 7 The Czechs were replying to a Foreign Office request for help in fighting terrorism and in tracing the growing consignments of Semtex reaching the IRA from Col Gaddafi of Libya. Daily Telegraph 27 Aug. 1988, p. 1 Senderista noun and adjective (Politics) noun: A member of the revolutionary Peruvian guerrilla organization Sendero Luminoso (sometimes abbreviated to Sendero or translated Shining Path). adjective: Of or belonging to Sendero Luminoso or its members. Etymology: A borrowing from Spanish Senderista. The Spanish name is formed by adding the suffix -ista (equivalent to English -ist) to the stem of Sendero 'path'; Sendero Luminoso, which literally means 'shining path', is taken from the writings of an earlier Peruvian ideologist, Jos‚ Carlos Mari tegui: 'Marxism-Leninism will open the shining path to revolution.'

History and Usage: Sendero Luminoso, a neo-Marxist Peruvian revolutionary movement, was founded in 1970 as the Communist Party of Peru, but subsequently became a clandestine guerrilla organization which was active throughout the eighties. The activities of the Senderistas were reported in the newspapers, especially in the US, from about 1982 onwards. Shouting Senderista slogans and songs, the peasants escorted the group to the community meeting hall. New York Times Magazine 31 July 1983, p. 20 Deriving their communist ideology from the teaching of Mao Tse-tung, the Senderistas are led by Abimael Guzman (nom de guerre, Col. Gonzalo), a hermit-like former professor of philosophy at the University of Ayacucho. Maclean's 25 Feb. 1985, p. 44 Unlike other revolutionary movements...Sendero hasn't opened itself to journalists: there have been no clandestine interviews with leaders, no conducted tours of areas under Sendero control. New Yorker 4 Jan 1988, p. 35 The treasury is so empty that the government...certainly cannot pay all the soldiers needed to protect candidates around the country from the fanatical Sendero Luminoso guerillas. Observer 1 Apr. 1990, p. 17 sensitive (Environment) see environmentally sequencer noun (Music) (Science and Technology) A programmable electronic instrument which can store sequences of musical notes, chords, or other signals and reproduce them when required, usually as part of a musical composition. Etymology: A specialized sense of sequencer, which had been used since the fifties for a number of electronic devices that

put information in sequence. History and Usage: Sequencers first became available in the mid seventies, but it was not until the early eighties and the development of MIDI that they started to be widely used. The sequencer proved an essential piece of equipment, both as an element of electronic instruments such as the keyboard and for the electronic music styles of the eighties, with their patchwork or collage-like quality; house music, in particular, relied heavily on this technology. The Synclavier also has a 'sequencer', which is like a word processor for music: you can use it to program the machine to play 'Chopsticks' for you. Listener 24 Oct. 1985, p. 43 Musicians create their rhythm patterns in the sequencer rather than on the drum machine. Rhythm Mar. 1989, p. 30 serious° adjective (Business World) In business jargon: considerable, worth taking seriously. Used especially in serious money, a large sum of money. Etymology: A development of sense which relies on a kind of shorthand: it is not the money, the commodity, etc. that is serious, but the intention of the person offering it. Thus a serious offer of money, for example, became serious money. History and Usage: This is a well-established US business usage (it has been in colloquial use for several decades). It became current in other English-speaking countries in the second half of the eighties and increasingly found its way into print. According to some business executives, the fixed phrase serious money can be tied down to a figure containing a specified number of noughts; whether or not in this phrase, serious tends to be preceded by the verb talk, used transitively. Bankability: Serious money. Recent two-book deal with Viking earned him more than œ150,000.

Correspondent Magazine 29 Oct. 1989, p. 66 She wore these three-inch heels...I'm talking serious stiletto. Alice Walker Temple of My Familiar (1989), p. 244 seriousý adverb (Youth Culture) In young people's slang: very, truly, absolutely. Used especially in serious bad, really bad. Etymology: Formed by using the adjective serious in place of its corresponding adverb seriously, in much the same way as real had been shifted from adjective to adverb qualifying another adjective several decades previously. History and Usage: Serious used as a general intensifier, especially to qualify the adjective bad, seems to have originated among US Blacks and has been recorded in print since the mid eighties (although it almost certainly goes back further in speech). In the phrase serious bad it possibly has the function of alerting the hearer to the fact that bad is being used in its traditional or serious sense, rather than the opposite slang sense 'good' (for which see bad). With his top lip curled to signify contempt, he goaded an imaginary hapless friend: 'You a lame chief, well lame, serious lame!' New Statesman 16 Feb. 1990, p. 12 Those of you who have been popping pills and smoking dope are doing the same thing Len Bias did. Those are serious bad shots you're taking boys, serious poor judgements that you're using with your body and mind. New York Times 20 Aug. 1990, section C, p. 6 19.6 shareware...

shareware (Science and Technology) see -ware shark repellent (Business World) see poison pill shell suit noun Also written shellsuit (Lifestyle and Leisure) A double-layered track suit with a showerproof outer nylon shell and a soft cotton lining. Etymology: Formed by compounding: a suit with an outer shell. History and Usage: The shell suit suddenly became a fashion garment for general leisure wear (whether or not this involved any kind of sport) at the end of the eighties, a time when hip hop culture had already popularized casual sportswear and turned the running-shoe or trainer into a status symbol. The shell suit has the advantage of doing away with the need for outdoor clothing, since the outer nylon shell is showerproof and moderately windproof, and the trapping of air between the layers makes for warmth. Shell suits are typically brightly coloured, with panels or flashes of different colours across the sleeves, legs, and front. Shell suit by Adidas. Strong nylon outer. Hardwearing suit features two side pockets, attractive contrast piping. Burlington Home Shopping Catalogue Autumn-Winter 1989/90, p. 554 With the trainers go a garish array of track suits--known as 'shell suits'. Daily Telegraph 9 June 1990, p. 13 shiatsu

(Health and Fitness) see acupressure

Shining Path (Politics) see Senderista shopaholic

noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society) Colloquially, a compulsive shopper. Etymology: Formed by adding the suffix -aholic (as in workaholic, ultimately on the model of alcoholic) to the verb shop. History and Usage: The phenomenon of the shopaholic and the associated social problem of shopaholism, or compulsive shopping, came to light as a result of the credit boom of the early eighties and were first so named in the US during the mid eighties. Both terms have remained predominantly American, although the problem they describe is not limited to the US. Shopaholic is a considerably better-known word than shopaholism. [The rumour] that Diana is a 'shopaholic'...was described as 'absolute rubbish'. Washington Post 11 Sept. 1984, section C, p. 3 Shopaholism has been described as being like alcoholism, affecting people from all walks of life...One finance adviser said some consumers who rang up huge credit card bills, far above their financial limit, knew how to budget but simply did not want to. Sunday Sun (Brisbane) 22 Mar. 1987, p. 39 Studies show that perhaps as many as 24 million Americans, fully 10% of the population, can be classified as 'hard-core shoppers'. These shopaholics shop for shopping's sake. Forbes 11 Jan. 1988, p. 40 shopping-bag lady (People and Society) see bag people shopping-bag stuffer (Business World) (Lifestyle and Leisure) see bagstuffer shuttle noun (Science and Technology)

More fully, space shuttle: a rocket-launched space vehicle with wings, enabling it to land like an aircraft and be used repeatedly. Etymology: A specialized use of shuttle in the sense of 'transport which plies backwards and forwards between two points'; the spacecraft is designed to be able to shuttle between the Earth and a space station or other destination in space. History and Usage: The first mention of a shuttle to take people to and from space was a fictional one: in a story in New Worlds in 1960, John Wyndham wrote: The acceleration in that shuttle would spread you all over the floor. It was at the end of the sixties that the US space agency NASA first started to plan a real space shuttle, a re-usable and relatively inexpensive spacecraft that could be used to ferry people and materials to and from a space station. The idea was that the shuttle would be fired vertically, but would shed its fuel tanks in space and would then re-enter the atmosphere and glide to a horizontal landing on a runway like that used by an aircraft. The shuttle which resulted from NASA's programme (officially known as the Space Transportation System or STS) made its maiden flight in 1981, and looked very much as had been envisaged at the beginning of the project: an aircraft-like winged orbiter, protected by heat-resistant materials so that it did not burn up on re-entering the atmosphere, and riding 'piggyback' on the fuel tank and booster rockets. During the eighties four US shuttles (Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, and Atlantis) were put into service--principally to launch and repair orbiting satellites and to carry out experiments in the Spacelab--and news reports of shuttle flights became commonplace. When, in 1986, Challenger exploded shortly after take-off, killing the seven astronauts on board, the US shuttle programme was temporarily halted, but it was resumed towards the end of the decade. A number of other countries developed shuttle programmes during the eighties. The NASA concept for an advanced shuttle...could bridge

the gap between the present fleet and the horizontally-launched National Aerospace Plane single stage to orbit (SSTO) vehicle planned for the next century. Physics Bulletin Mar. 1987, p. 91 Mac...argued...against NASA's space monopoly and its 40 percent subsidy to users of the space shuttle. Robert & Elizabeth Dole Unlimited Partners (1988), p. 261 19.7 sick building...

sick building noun (Health and Fitness) A building in which the environment is a health risk to its occupants, especially because of inadequate ventilation or air conditioning; used especially in sick building syndrome, the set of adverse environmental conditions found in a sick building; also, the set of symptoms (such as headaches, dizziness, etc.) experienced by the people who live or work there. Etymology: Formed by compounding. There is both a figurative and an elliptical quality to the use of sick here: architects and designers try to treat the symptoms caused by poor design, although it is not the building that is sick, but the people who use it. History and Usage: Architects first wrote about large, centrally ventilated buildings as sick buildings in the early eighties and the set of vague symptoms suffered by people who used such buildings had become known as sick building syndrome (sometimes abbreviated to SBS) by the mid eighties. Commonly reported symptoms included headaches, dizziness, nausea, chest problems, and general fatigue; most could be attributed to poor air quality or actual air pollution within the building. New buildings in particular tend to make the most efficient use of energy, avoiding unnecessary intake of air from the outside which might increase fuel costs; the result is a building which

is airtight to fresh air not forming part of the ventilation system, and in which the same dirty or contaminated air can be circulated over and over again. Such a building is also known as a tight building, and an alternative name for sick building syndrome--especially when it is attributable entirely to such a limited air supply--is tight building syndrome (abbreviated to TBS). For lack of documentation, employers considered that the collection of symptoms that now go under the label Tight Building Syndrome (TBS)--or Sick Building Syndrome--were psychosomatic. Not too surprising, since TBS's raspy throats, persistent coughs, burning eyes, headaches, dizziness, nausea and midafternoon drowsiness tend to disappear a half-hour after sufferers leave work. Canadian Business Apr. 1987, p. 58 This is a book that affects to loathe the modern world. Modern architecture is dismissed in three words ('sick building syndrome') and barely redeemed by another ('Baubiologie'--t he architectural sprig of west German green consumerism). Green Magazine Dec. 1989, p. 18 Airtight and chemical-laden, office environments may cause 'sick building syndrome', a condition characterized by fatigue, nausea, and respiratory illness. Garbage Nov. 1990, p. 43 signature (Lifestyle and Leisure) see designer single market noun (Business World) A free trade association allowing for a common currency and largely unrestricted movement of goods, capital, personnel, etc. between countries; specifically, such a free market as the basis for trade between member states of the EC (also known more fully as the single European market), planned for full implementation

by the end of 1992. Etymology: Formed by compounding; a market in which, instead of trading co-operatively but individually, the member states would come together to form a single unit. The word single seems to have been substituted consciously for the common of Common Market in the sixties, before an actual plan for nineteen ninety-two was put forward. History and Usage: The removal of barriers to trade has been an important aim of the European Community since its creation, but it was not until the Milan summit of June 1985 that a definite target was set for the creation of a single market by 31 December 1992. From about 1989 onwards, there was a concerted government advertising compaign in the UK, urging companies to make themselves aware of the implications of the single market and to take advantage of the opportunities it offered for growth and enterprise. French officials now see the pillars to France's European policy as being: the development of the single European market, with the further opening of frontiers providing an important spur to economic growth, [etc.]. Financial Times 24 Mar. 1987, section 1, p. 3 In favour of a total ban are the state monopoly producers--Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. It is in their interests to block tobacco imports and protect their national products, against the spirit of the Single Market. Marketing 17 May 1990, p. 1 SITCOM

(People and Society) see DINK

19.8 ska house...

ska house (Music) (Youth Culture) see house skateboarding noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (Youth Culture)

The use of a skateboard (a small board mounted on roller-skate wheels), for sport and recreation. Etymology: Formed on the noun skateboard, which was formed by compounding after the example of surfboard: a board which relies on skates to provide mobility. History and Usage: Skateboards first appeared in the early sixties in California, where they originally provided a substitute for surfing when the ocean conditions were unfavourable. In the mid seventies they enjoyed a short-lived worldwide craze, during which numerous skateparks were built in which skateboarders could practise tricks and manoeuvres in safety. The pastime never completely died out, and by the second half of the eighties had become fashionable again, perhaps because of its appearance in such films as Back to the Future (1985). Some of the special language used by skateboarders (such as gleaming the cube for 'pushing oneself to the limits') also enjoyed wider popularity as a result of films about skateboarding. Surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding looks have been so mass-marketed that the purists feel betrayed. Los Angeles Times 12 Sept. 1990, section S, p. 4 19.9 ska house...

slasher noun (Lifestyle and Leisure) (People and Society) Used attributively (in slasher film, slasher movie, etc.) of horror films or videos which depict vicious or violent behaviour. Etymology: So named because the attacker is shown slashing the victims with a knife or carrying out similarly violent attacks. History and Usage: Slasher was first used as the name for a violent horror film in the mid seventies; however, the genre really became established in the mid eighties, with ever more gory horror films being released for rental through video clubs.

Slasher films came in for a good deal of criticism in the mid eighties, as people started to make a connection between the fashion for them and rising levels of violent crime. Paramount's low-budget slasher film Friday the 13th Part 3 in 'super 3-D' was roundly thrashed by critics ('Trash', said Newsweek). Forbes 27 Sept. 1982, p. 176 Instead of the breakdance and slasher movies aimed at the teen market, you have more thought-provoking films like Rain Man and Dangerous Liaisons. Sunday Telegraph 19 Mar. 1989, p. 11 sleazebag noun (Youth Culture) In young people's slang (originally in the US): a sordid or despicable person (especially someone considered morally reprehensible); a 'scuzzbag' (see scuzz). Etymology: Formed by compounding, from sleaze 'squalor, sordidness' (in use since the late sixties) and -bag (as in windbag etc.). History and Usage: Sleazebag was the first of a number of compounds based on sleaze to be coined in the US during the eighties, appearing at the beginning of the decade as a general term of abuse, but used especially in political contexts to imply that a person had low standards of honesty. It was closely followed in the mid eighties by sleazeball (which essentially means the same as sleazebag) and sleaze factor, the sleazy or sordid aspect of a situation (applied especially, in US politics, to scandals and alleged corruption involving officials of the Reagan administration). Sleaze factor was a term coined in 1983 by American journalist Laurence Barrett, as a chapter heading in his book Gambling with History; it remained current throughout the Reagan administration, pointing to scandals, resignations, and alleged malpractice which nevertheless largely failed to 'stick' to the Presid